New Orleans, LA

Major public housing overhaul in the works for New Orleans

October 18, 2006
As the floodwaters receded last fall, academic experts pontificated that the profound loss also represented an opportunity to rectify the historic blights to New Orleans' urban landscape.
     The most pressing obstacle would be the deeply concentrated poverty trapping the city's most vulnerable families in public housing complexes and adjoining ghettos, many of them lacking basic neighborhood necessities such as grocery stores. But the vision of New Orleans' poorest neighborhoods rising from the ashes of disaster to be remade as mixed-income meccas, with leafy tree-lined streets and bustling parks, has run smack up against another imperative of the post-Katrina era: building back low-income housing so that poor New Orleanians can return home and land jobs in the recovery economy.

NOLA Fair Housing center decries ‘racist’ ruling

October 02, 2006
The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center is asking residents of St. Bernard Parish to repeal what it calls a racially discriminatory ordinance recently passed by the Parish Council.
     The ordinance, as it appears on the St. Barnard Parish Web site, says that “except with a special permit, owners who weren’t previously renting out a single-family residence in R-1 zones will now be prohibited from doing so unless the renter is a blood relative.”

Why over half of New orleans cannot return

September 18, 2006
Renters are being encouraged not to return to New Orleans.
     Though over half of the people of New Orleans before Katrina were renters - none of the federal housing money coming into the area is designated for renters. There is some money going to landlords and developers who at some point may provide some affordable housing to some people - but essentially renters are being left out.
     This is an administrative complaint sent to HUD that challenges in detail the refusal of the state to help renters.

Fair Housing Center marks Katrina anniversary with release of anti-discrimination campaign

August 29, 2006
In commemoration of the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) unveils a new fair housing advertising campaign. The campaign features one print public service announcement (PSA), one 30-second television PSA, and one 30-second radio PSA, each of which can be downloaded at www.gnofairhousing.org.
     The campaign, created, produced and edited entirely by GNOFHAC staff, highlights discriminatory ads for housing posted on the Internet by housing providers shortly after Hurricane Katrina. The illegal ads included statements like "not racist, but white only," "we would prefer a white couple," and "to make things more understandable for our younger child we would like to house white children."

Suit claims New Orleans plan discriminates

June 27, 2006
Residents of four public housing complexes sued Tuesday to open their shuttered apartments, saying the federal government's plan to demolish their homes is discriminatory and violates international laws that protect people displaced by natural disasters.
     Critics have been staging marches and set up a tent city to protest the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's decision to tear down the deteriorating buildings after Hurricane Katrina struck last summer.
     

HUD outlines agressive plan to pring families back to New Orleans' public housing

June 14, 2006
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson today unveiled the agency's plan to accelerate the return of public housing families back to New Orleans. The plan includes rehabilitating and reopening about 1,000 public housing units in the next 60 days, raising the value of HUD Disaster Vouchers, and redeveloping New Orleans public housing to bring better housing opportunities for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans residents face painful housing dilemma

March 12, 2006
A new funding plan aimed at getting New Orleans' shattered neighborhoods back on their feet has so far done little to ease residents' painful dilemma of rebuilding or moving out, half a year after the disaster.
     In hard-hit middle-class neighborhoods close to Lake Pontchartrain on the north side of the historic city, homeowners say they are confounded by confusing signals from all levels of government about what it will take to rebuild.
     To the east in the low-income Lower Ninth Ward, much of which was turned into a debris field when a levee burst after the Aug. 29 storm, residents worry it will take a generation before a vibrant community re-emerges.

HUD announces nearly $25 million in 'sweat equity' grants to help families build their own American Dream

February 23, 2006
More than 1,500 families will realize their American Dream with a little elbow grease and $24.8 million in grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Pamela Patenaude. HUD is awarding these so-called "sweat equity grants" to four national and regional organizations through the Department's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
     Patenaude made the announcement as she joined Habitat for Humanity volunteers constructing 15 affordable homes in Covington, Louisiana. First constructed in Rockefeller Center in New York, Jackson, Mississippi, and as far away as Los Angeles, these homes are being reassembled throughout the Gulf Coast region and will eventually provide affordable homes for hurricane evacuees.

HUD announces nearly $25 million in 'sweat equity' grants to help families build their own American Dream

February 23, 2006
More than 1,500 families will realize their American Dream with a little elbow grease and $24.8 million in grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Assistant Secretary Pamela Patenaude. HUD is awarding these so-called "sweat equity grants" to four national and regional organizations through the Department's Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP).
     Patenaude made the announcement as she joined Habitat for Humanity volunteers constructing 15 affordable homes in Covington, Louisiana. First constructed in Rockefeller Center in New York, Jackson, Mississippi, and as far away as Los Angeles, these homes are being reassembled throughout the Gulf Coast region and will eventually provide affordable homes for hurricane evacuees.

Motion filed to stop Katrina evictions

February 13, 2006
About 12,000 families made homeless by last year's hurricanes were scheduled to be forced out of their federally-funded hotel rooms Monday, but lawyers for the evacuees were hoping for a last-minute reprieve.
     Attorneys on Sunday delivered papers to the home of U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval, asking him to grant a temporary restraining order to stall the evictions. By late Sunday night there was still no word on Duval's ruling.
     "We have provided the court with statements from people showing they have not been treated fairly by FEMA," said Bill Quigley, an assistant dean of the Loyola University Law School, who filed the motion with civil rights attorney Tracie Washington.
     FEMA has said it will stop payment Monday for hotel rooms across the country for 12,000 families made homeless by last year's storms.

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