Fact Sheet on HUD Demolition New Orleans


            When Katrina hit on August 29, 2005, there were 5200 families living in apartments administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). There were an additional 2000 low-income public housing apartments that were temporarily vacant at the time of Katrina because they were scheduled for renovation. 

HUD took control over the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) years before Katrina. HANO is under HUD Administrative Receivership. 

Since HUD’s takeover, HANO has had a one person board that makes all decisions. The one person HANO board is a HUD employee. That person selects all personnel and approves all contracts. HANO’s annual budget has been about $125 million annually.

Since Katrina hit, HUD and HANO have only opened up apartments for 1600 families to return to public housing. New Orleans public housing is garden style 3 story apartments. For picture look here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/22/arts/design/22hous.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 

HANO’s posted documents show HUD has approved plans to demolish four major housing developments: Lafitte (896 apartments will shrink to 276 low-income public housing apartments), St. Bernard (1436 apartments will shrink to 160 low-income public housing apartments), B.W. Cooper (1550 apartments will shrink to 154 low-income public housing apartments) and CJ Peete (723 apartments will shrink to 154 low-income public housing apartments).   

After demolishing these thousands of apartments, HUD has approved plans to lease the property to private developers for 99 years to build mixed income housing on each of these sites. HUD has approved developers’ plans to dramatically downsize each development. 

HANO, HUD and public records document that the total cost for redevelopment of four developments is over three quarters of a billion dollars - $762 million. The $762 million does not include current subsidies on displaced residents which is estimated at $1000 per displaced family per month – approximately another $100 million so far. Nor do these estimates include the millions in no-bid contracts already let out by HUD and HANO since Katrina for consultants, lawyers, and contractors of all sorts.
The current 4605 low-income public housing apartments will be the replaced by 744 low-income public housing apartments. That results in a loss of 3,861 low-income public housing units – or 82%.   Even including the market rate and mixed income apartments – there is a total loss of 2,764 apartments to New Orleans. The $762 million spread over the 1841 apartments comes to well over $400,000 per apartment. So, HUD’s plan is to spend three-quarters of a billion dollars to reduce public housing in New Orleans by 82%.     For additional information see: www.justiceforneworleans.org