Miracle In New Orleans

What do a bunch of college professors know about fixing public-housing projects? A lot, it turns out

Public housing in America is almost universally acknowledged as a policy failure of mammoth proportions. But in a nation of neglected, rat-infested and crime-ridden housing projects, New Orleans has always rated special notoriety. Its government-subsidized apartments were consistently rated among the country's worst. One of its biggest projects, an 1,800-unit catastrophe called Desire, was long reputed to be the very worst. The Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), a political hornet's nest of patronage and chronic mismanagement, was so inept at making repairs that tenants routinely waited years for simple services. Hundreds of tenements were literally falling down.

Things got so...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!