Last night, MSNBC aired a debate among mayoral candidates from New Orleans. What would have normally been a regional broadcast went national, as the Crescent City’s future hangs in the balance. Given that the situation is so tenuous, it’s nice to see this story about KB Home in USA TODAY.
KB Home, one of the nation’s largest home builders, is getting final approvals to build 20,000 homes on 3,000 acres in the town of Marrero in Jefferson Parish, an undamaged area just west of New Orleans. It is the first time Los Angeles-based KB Home has built in the New Orleans area.
CEO Bruce Karatz says he was watching Katrina coverage on TV in late August and was “personally very moved by the disaster, watching it unfold day to day and how horrendous it was for people.”
He proposed that his firm go to New Orleans to help “jump-start” housing development. “I thought, I can cause a reaction,” he says.
But since KB Home’s announcement in December, there has been no rush to build. “As the days and weeks and months go by, you’d think others would see our genius and follow suit,” Karatz says. “It’s one of the obstacles holding back recovery — there’s no place to live.”