Archive for Friday, February 23, 2007

Katrina victims get keys to new homes

February 23, 2007

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— Two residents got the keys Thursday to what are believed to be the first homes built in the Lower Ninth Ward since Hurricane Katrina hit 18 months ago, and officials hope the houses - elevated against floodwaters and designed to withstand 160 mph winds - will help spark a revival in the devastated neighborhood.

The homes resemble the wood-frame shotgun style prevalent in many New Orleans neighborhoods, in which rooms are built in a straight line from front to back. But instead of the traditional cypress wood exterior, they are covered with mold- and termite-resistant siding.

A community group called ACORN Housing lined up financing for the two houses, valued at about $125,000 each, and the homeowners will have to repay the organization.

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