National Call to Action: Support housing rights in New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina anniversary

Organization: 
Author: 
Survivors' Village
Date Published: 
August 6, 2006

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Dear supporters of housing rights,

The Right to Return for all displaced New Orleans residents is under attack, and Survivors Village requests your local solidarity and support by organizing an action around the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Please see the attached PDF guide to find out how. In the months since Katrina it has become clear that the most devastated residents of the city were, and continue to be, poor people of color, and foremost among them the families who were assisted by public housing. A just recovery of New Orleans can only be accomplished in New Orleans if voices across the country demand that HUD reopen public housing and give fair treatment to public housing residents.   

The Problem

Even though the vast majority of public housing units sustained little or no hurricane damage, the federal government has locked out nearly 20,000 public housing residents from their homes. HUD has spent over $1.5 million on fencing and barricades to keep residents out while plans brew to demolish 5,000 units of public housing in New Orleans and exchange them for more upscale mixed-income developments.   

While some have praised the principles of mixed-income redevelopment to reform public housing, for local public housing residents it comes down to one burning issue: when implemented, mixed-income redevelopment typically reduces the number of affordable housing units by as much as 80-90 percent. In New Orleans, demolition and redevelopment would permanently displace over 15,000 low income, predominantly African American famil