The Community Revitalization Fund:
A Summative Evaluation

The story of the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s initiative (2007-2014) to shepherd national and local philanthropic investments in New Orleans’ recovery from the post-Katrina housing crisis


Defining the Crisis

When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, the levees surrounding New Orleans failed to protect the city from the accompanying storm surge. Within three days, 80% of the city was under water.

The flooding damaged approximately 134,000 of the city’s occupied housing units, and the number of vacant and blighted properties tripled.

Vacant and blighted properties in New Orleans




To rebuild housing you need three things: land, money, and expertise.

– Carey Shea, Former Program Director for Community Revitalization, Greater New Orleans Foundation
(Currently: Executive Director, Home by Hand)

In 2007, the Greater New Orleans Foundation created the Community Revitalization Fund, marshaling the resources and expertise of twelve national and ten local foundations to devote $25 million over five years to rebuild housing and strengthen the local affordable housing sector.

In 2014, as the Community Revitalization Fund sunset, the Greater New Orleans Foundation initiated an external summative evaluation to ask how well the Fund had met its objectives. To read the full evaluation report, use one of the download buttons at the top or bottom of this page.

You can learn more about the story of the Community Revitalization Fund by using the navigational links below or at the top of this page. Throughout, you’ll hear from the staff of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Community Revitalization Fund grantees, and families who now live in housing built by grantees.