New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin says his city can only support half the population it did before Hurricane Katrina struck in August.
In an interview with the Washington Post published Wednesday, Mayor Nagin says New Orleans' shattered infrastructure can support about 250,000 residents over the next year.
That compares with nearly 500,000 people who lived in the city before the hurricane.
Mr. Nagin says more than 250,000 homes are uninhabitable and that some neighborhoods are still lacking basic services.
Thousands of New Orleans residents who evacuated the city remain in temporary housing in other cities and states.
Mayor Nagin has vowed to resurrect the city, some 80 percent of which was flooded after Katrina.