Here's the federal government's take on who should get to come back to New Orleans:

U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson shed little light Monday on the future of public housing in hurricane-battered New Orleans, but said that "only the best residents" of the former St. Thomas housing complex should be allowed into the new mixed-income development that replaced it.

There's a school of thought that says mixed-income development is a better way and that it improves the social fabric of neighborhoods. But a) this doesn't seem to be the right way to go about promoting that message, b) there doesn't seem to be a fair and comprehensive plan, c) there doesn't seem to be anyone in charge, and d) there are wide-spread suspicions that this is all just happy-talk code-speak for a developer land grab bonanza.

For example:

"I think they are getting ready to demolish public housing," said Laura Tuggle, a lawyer with New Orleans Legal Assistance. "One of the hardest parts of redevelopment is having to relocate residents of public housing. That job was done for them."

Read the whole article for a good summary of the issues surrounding the public housing debate, including some other fairly outrageous remarks by Sec. Jackson and the rebuttals.