lowernine.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the long-term recovery of the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the levee breaches of 2005.

About Our Neighborhood

The Lower Ninth Ward, due to its proximity to the Industrial Canal levee breach, was one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the Gulf Coast region. Rebuilding in the Lower Nine has lagged behind that of other neighborhoods as a result of poverty, the scale of the devastation and local, state and federal government inaction. Dealing first with toxic mold, then toxic FEMA trailers and toxic Chinese Sheetrock, then with unscrupulous contractors, insurance and mortgage companies, and finally struggling under a discriminatory governmental recovery program*, it became clear that the Lower Ninth Ward would be much slower to recover than other areas of New Orleans.

About Our Story

Founded by Maine boat builder Rick Prose, lowernine.org was the follow up organization to nonprofit Emergency Communities, which sprung up after Katrina in Waveland, MS, and in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, and Orleans Parishes providing early forms of disaster relief and recovery. As years passed and the initial feeding, mold remediation, and gutting work was completed, it was apparent that skilled rebuilding would be the next step in the process. Rick brought a group of volunteers from his home town of Boothbay Harbor, and quickly realized that under skilled supervision, unskilled volunteers could fully rebuild flood-damaged homes. lowernine.org was born.

About Our Work

To date, lowernine.org has fully rebuilt eighty-three homes, and has completed smaller repair and renovation projects on over two hundred more, bringing back more Lower Ninth Ward families than any other single organization. However, as of 2016, population return is only 36.7% – lagging far behind the rest of the City of New Orleans. Many of these “returning” residents are actually newcomers to the area, settling in the areas closest to the Mississippi in the historic Holy Cross section of the neighborhood, where property values are quickly rising, pricing pre-Katrina residents out of their own community. In the spring of this 2014, almost nine years after the levee breaches and flooding, residents received notices from the City that read “The City of New Orleans will soon begin repairing Katrina-damaged roads and infrastructure in your neighborhood”. The FEMA closeout date for the storm is 2025. Conservative estimates have the rebuilding of our neighborhood taking another decade.

*The Louisiana Road Home Program was found to be discriminatory in a Federal Court of law in 2011. Read coverage of this story here, and earlier reporting about the program and its administration here.

Please join us in this effort.

Visit. Volunteer. Donate. Advocate.

Call +1 (504) 278-1240 or email info@lowernine.org to find out how you can help.

Board of Directors

Partners & Donors