I was walking Sula down Royal Street today and we met a couple standing outside their house--a house I immediately remembered from a walk earlier in the week, when a crew of out of town laborers were throwing every possession out onto the street. This was a day BEFORE the official eviction day, and the amount of stuff they were throwing onto the pavement made me think that it was likely a house people were planning to return to. Now I was standing with these tenants who had just minutes earlier arrived home ready to rebuild their lives and the city itself. There were only a few damaged books and some trash remaining.
They told me that they had left a note for their landlord, who had never returned their calls before the storm, so they had barracaded the windows and doors on their own. While I was with them, they tried calling the man--he immediately hung up the phone on them.
Like many people they had been waiting for basic things like utilities to be confirmed before they returned to live here again. Now they are calling on friends to see if anyone can offer a place to stay.
Meanwhile, the half a double across the street from me is available. Two weeks ago it was renting for $900. Last week they raised it to $2000. There have been no takers, so its down to $1500 today.