Officials in New Orleans Rebuilding Area Demolished by Hurricane Katrina

A street of mostly empty lots is seen in the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, Thursday, March 16, 2017. Now a major rebuilding project is set to bring hundreds of new residents into the neighborhood, in what developers, officials and some residents hope will mark an important turning point. But others have concerns about the new development and whether it's the right fit for the historic, African-American neighborhood. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – A major rebuilding effort is underway in a New Orleans neighborhood decimated by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina.

The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority is working to develop about 175 properties in the city’s Lower 9th Ward.

The neighborhood of low-to-moderate-income residents was hit hard by Katrina and has struggled to recover. More than a decade after the hurricane, it still hasn’t recovered 50 percent of its population.

Officials and some residents hope the houses will bring new residents and spur economic development. But some residents have concerns.

They fear rentals aren’t the best fit for an area that was once a bastion of African-American homeownership. They also worry about the quality of the new housing and say not enough effort has been made to bring back residents forced out by the storm.

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