Stop the Demolition Coalition Media Messages and Talking Points

Author: 
Coalition to Stop the Demolitions
Date Published: 
December 18, 2007
STOP THE DEMOLITION COALITION
MEDIA MESSAGES and TALKING POINTS (DRAFT)

CORE MESSAGES

1. Will the City continue to botch rebuilding by allowing HUD and HANO to demolish nearly 5,000 units of public housing? Demolishing public housing is like putting black families in front of the wrecking ball. The City Council has a duty to stop the demolition and use existing units to place families in stable, affordable housing now.

2. The demolition is the latest in a long line of bad policies that defy common decency and common sense -- and have left more than 12,000 people homeless.  Providing vouchers instead of affordable housing isn’t the answer.  There is a better way.  Preserve, repair and re-open public housing now so we can bring all of New Orleans back, not just those who can afford it.

3. It's not too late to do the right thing.  The New Orleans City Council can save more than ¾ of the public housing in the city and create the opportunity for more than 3,400 people to return home.  We are taking our stand in New Orleans; we are not going to allow the City, HUD or HANO to destroy our homes, or our lives so a few private companies can get rich.

TALKING POINTS

Q: Aren't these units just eyesores?  Isn't redevelopment better?
A: Our public housing needs to be preserved, repaired and reformed not demolished.  It would cost 762 million to tear down these buildings -- It is more cost effective and more humane to preserve and repair what we have.

Q: No one wants to live in them anyway, why keep them?
A: Public housing was home to thousands of families before Katrina, and these families have the right to return home. HUD/HANO have a responsibility to ensure that these properties are safe and livable.

Q: Aren't these guys just doing their job?
A: No, they are falling down on the job. HUD/HANO and their hired developers will be guilty of slum profiteering if these demolitions aren’t stopped. Our public officials should operate at a higher standard.  Their job is to provide sufficient housing for low income families.  Their job is to engage residents in planning and redevelopment.  They have done neither.  They can begin now by stopping the demolitions that will force hundreds of families into the street this holiday season.

Q: You all have lost in the courts and it seems like it's over.  Why bother?
A: It's not over, and it’s not too late for our public officials to do the right thing.  There are still appeals underway, people who support the human right to housing are mobilizing across the country, the whole nation is watching.  Residents are willing to do whatever it takes to save their housing and come back