HUD Temporarily Halts Demolitions at Three Housing Sites

Susan Finch, Times-Picayune staff writer
Date Published: 
December 14, 2007
The Housing Authority of New Orleans agreed in court today not to demolish the C.J. Pete, Lafitte or St. Bernard public housing developments unless the New Orleans City Council approves permits for the work.

The agreement allows HANO to proceed with demolition work, approved inNovember 2003 by the City Council, at the B.W. Cooper housing development.

Officials with the housing authority and attorneys for demolition opponents, who sued HANO Thursday to stop tear-downs at Pete, Lafitte and St. Bernard, reached the accommodation after meeting privately with Civil District Court Judge Herbert Cade, who said he would sign an order later
today approving the deal.

Plaintiffs argued that the City Council had to approve demolition work atthe three housing complexes. HANO had not secured that approval for the three demolition projects.

Attorney Tracie Washington, representing the plaintiffs, said HANO's willingness to halt demolition work pending a City Council review is a first: "We have never (before) been able to get a court to order a stop to demolition."

The City Council is expected to address the demolition matter next week.

The agreement says that any party to the agreement, if dissatisfied, can return to court to seek a modification.