Monday, October 30, 2006

Uncertainty Reinforcing Displacement

As follow-up to postings here and at Jurisdynamics, I wanted to draw attention to a recent RAND study, which notes:

"[i]ndividual and collective decisions about how to proceed with reconstruction in the affected areas of the Gulf Coast are interconnected in complex ways, sometimes referred to in shorthand as the "chicken and egg" problem. Uncertainty about the future level of protection will temper or tip investments and the rebuild/relocate decisions that ulimately shape the scope of reconstruction."
Thus, the uncertainty about homeowner benefits plausibly deters Katrina-displacees from returning, and at the time, compounds the uncertainty besetting policy makers in identifying which communities will ultimately thrive in a post-Katrina New Orleans. No greater uncertainty could exist than the Road Home's cryptic admission (here, at p. 6-7) that it has not determined what metrics it will use to label to neighborhoods as suffering from insufficient homeowner reinvestment -- the consequences of which were noted in a previous posting, "Divvying Up $10 Billion."

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