Homeowner Story

Antonia Cager

Antonia Cager has a warm affection for the Lower 9th Ward; she and her entire family were raised in the area. According to Ms. Cager, their family has lived in the area so long that her mother’s father owned one of the first homes on Deslonde Street.

She remembers her pre-Katrina neighborhood as a friendly one. “We all stuck together,” said Ms. Cager. “We all watched out for one another.”

Ms. Cager evacuated her home in the Lower 9th Ward in preparation for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She and other family members traveled to her son’s apartment in Eastern New Orleans where they were trapped during the storm. She remembers the scene vividly. “When the wind blew, the house seemed to sway back and forth, and the water was steady rising,” said Ms. Cager. Cager, a diabetic, was in a difficult situation. “There was nothing to eat in the house but sweets and we were there for four days after Hurricane Katrina,” said Ms. Cager.

Ms. Cager and her family were rescued and eventually taken to the Interstate nearby and evacuated to Houston, Texas. After she returned to New Orleans, Ms. Cager was housed on a ship, then inside a trailer and later settled in a home in another area of town paying what she calls “high rent.”

Longing to return to the Lower 9th Ward, Ms. Cager decided to work with the Make It Right program to get back home. “This is a good program and the people are very helpful,” said Ms. Cager.

Ms. Cager selected a three bedroom home designed by BNIM Architects.

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