Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date



Stevenson Center, Gulf Opportunity Zone, Hurrucane Katrina, New Orleans


In the wake of Hurricane Katrina there are thousands of businesses in the City of New Orleans closed. In an attempt to diminish financial loss, retain local businesses, and attract investment the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development initiated the process of amending HUD guidelines to fit the city’s current economic status, and expand the existing Renewal Community boundaries to include the entire city. Simultaneously, the state legislature in collaboration with the U.S. Congress worked towards a more inclusive incentive package, the Gulf Opportunity Zone. Analysis found in this paper gives increased evidence of communication bottlenecks in federal government, and how decision making principles during a time of crisis are unfortunately overlooked. Those most in need and with the most time constraints and fewest resources become underrepresented. Pork barrelling occurs, possibly “renewing communities not in need” or simply maintaining the status quo.