NOLA Housing Crisis Update – 12-15-07

Bill Quigley
Date Published: 
December 15, 2007

Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO), totally controlled by the U.S. Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD), is trying to demolish 4500 public housing apartments.  Residents and affordable housing advocates are resisting.

Several big victories!

Louisiana State Court Order postponing all demolitions at C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard until City Council of New Orleans approves that decision.  City Council announced it will take this matter up on Thursday December 20, 2007. ...

U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. issued an injunction halting demolition at St. Bernard until Thursday and transferring case to NOLA for additional hearings.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent a letter to President Bush asking that he immediately stop the demolitions for 60 days to allow a
congressional remedy.  No word back from the President yet.

The National Journal ran their 3rd segment on corruption at HUD and HANO.  The FBI continues to look into this and search warrants have been executed at the homes and offices of
top-ranking HUD officials.  Ed Pound is the author.

Direct Actions:

 Four people were arrested at HANO eadquarters after dressing up as elves and chaining themselves to the gate.  They chained themselves to the gate early in the am, were actually arrested at noon and were released from jail after midnight.

There was a well attended candle light prayer vigil on Orleans Avenue at Lafitte housing
development.  Several ministers, including Rev. Lois Dejean, Rev. Charles Duplessis, and Rev. Marshall Truehill led the crowd in prayers, scripture, and song.

 A banner made of a large sheet was hung in support of the campaign to save public housing
off the side of Saks Fifth Avenue on Canal St and Decatur St on Monday at 5pm reading "We need more affordable housing" and "Stop the demolitions." The banner was very visible from Canal Street. It was not taken down until sometime Tuesday morning.

Over 100 organizations, both national and regional, endorsed the Gulf Coast Housing Recovery Act of 2007 (S.1668), which would provide that no demolition shall occur until HUD devises a plan to replace all of the units that would be demolished.  These
organizations are as follows:

National Organizations:
Addicts Rehabilitation Center Foundation, Inc.
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
Amnesty International USA
Catholic Charities USA
Center for Responsible Lending
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Color of Change
Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Housing Task Force
Consumer Mortgage Coalition
Enterprise Community Partners
Institute of Real Estate Management
Jonathan Rose Companies
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
McCormack Baron Salazar, Inc.
Michaels Development Company
Mortgage Bankers Association
National Affordable Housing Management Association
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National AIDS Housing Coalition
National Apartment Association
National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP)
National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
National Association of Home Builders
National Association of Realtors
National Black Chamber of Commerce
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American
Community Development (National CAPACD)
National Council on Independent Living
National Fair Housing Alliance
NCBA Housing Management Corporation
National Housing Conference
National Housing Law Project
National Housing Trust
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
National Leased Housing Association
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Multi Housing Council
National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Oxfam America
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Religious Action Center for Reformed Judaism
Technical Assistance Collaborative
Tramell Crow Company
Travelers Aid International
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
United States Jesuit Conference
US Human Rights Network
Volunteers of America

Gulf Coast and Regional Organizations:
Acadiana Regional Coalition on Housing &
Homelessness (ARCH)
Acadiana Regional Development District
ACLU of Mississippi
Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice
Alabama Arise
Armstrong Family Services
Association of Family Fishermen
Back Bay Mission
Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing (BISCO)
Boat People SOS
Catholic Charities, New Orleans
Center for Fair Housing, Inc.
Chamber Southwest Louisiana
Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities of
Coastal Women for Change
Collaborative Solutions
Common Ground Health Clinic
Florida Legal Services, Inc.
Fresh Start of Baton Rouge
From the Lake to the River:  The New Orleans
Coalition for Legal Aid and Disaster Relief
Georgia Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Inc.
Grace Harbour Christian Ministries
Greater Houston Fair Housing Center
Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
Greater New Orleans, Inc.
Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center (Biloxi, MS)
Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans
Hope for the Homeless, Inc
Hope House
Houma-Terrebonne Housing Authority
Lake to the River: The New Orleans Coalition for
Legal Aid and Disaster Assistance
Last Hope, Inc.
Lighthouse Community Development Corporation
Louisiana Advocacy Coalition for the Homeless
Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations
Louisiana Bayoukeeper, Inc.
Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
Louisiana Housing Alliance
Louisiana Supportive Housing Coalition
Mental Health America of Louisiana
Mississippi Center for Justice
Mississippi Interfaith Disaster Task Force
Mobile Fair Housing Center
Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Inc.
MQVN Community Development Corporation, Inc.
NAMI Louisiana
New Orleans Multicultural Tourism Network
New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
North Gulfport Community Land Trust
Northeast Louisiana Delta CDC
People Improving Communities Through Organizing -
Louisiana Interfaith Together (PICO-LIFT)
Project Lazarus
Providence Community Housing
Shelter Resources, Inc.
South Bay Communities Alliance
Texas Appleseed
Texas Low Income Housing Information Service
The Advocacy Center
The Louisiana Justice Institute
Travelers Aid Society of Greater New Orleans
UNITY of Greater New Orleans
Urban League of Greater New Orleans