The response of some to these statistics is to call for still more demolition, abandonment and neglect of older and historic neighborhoods. In the last three decades we lost from our national inventory of older and historic homes 6.3 million year-round housing units. Over 80 percent of those units were single-family residences. The vast majority of them were simply demolished were thrown away as being worthless. These demolitions occurred at the very same time that the number of units of affordable to low-income households has fallen. In essence, America has been worrying about how to dismantle the barriers to affordable housing and the same time it has been dismantling the very homes that are, or could be, affordable.

We continue to fight the endless arrogance of those who suggest we can “demolish” our way out of this problem.


Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led...