Immigrant labor essential for New Orleans recovery

I’m in New Orleans and have had conversations with people about rebuilding the residential areas. Thousands of homes have yet to be touched, but thousands are being repaired, some with replacement of all the walls. My friend Dan lives in the scacely hurt area of “Uptown.” He is doing major renovations on a 3,000 foot residence. He told me that Brazilian workers from Massachusetts are essential to getting the work done. (There is strong demand for housing.) I talked with Glenn and Brad about the large, 7,500 household neighborhood of Lakeview. This is one of the most actively rebuilding neighborhoods — virtually all homes were 4 or more feet underwater for a week. Glenn told me that governmental agencies have been well meaning but pretty much useless in the rebuilding. He said that the rebuilding could not be done without (1) Hispanic workers and (2) Wal-Mart and Home Depot stores.
And–the first restaurants to reopen were ethnic restaurants because only they had enough staff.

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