Councilman Chris Roberts, who sponsored the resolution passed last week, said 88 percent of Jefferson’s 1,800 Section 8 vouchers are on the parish’s west bank and accused the federal government of “using the west bank as a dumping ground.”Last week, public housing dwellers were either “ignorant or lazy.” This week they are like trash.
And, furthering the Myth of the Katrina Criminals right here at home, people living on Section 8 vouchers are also, apparently, the source of all crime:
“This area has more than its fair share of subsidized government housing,” Roberts said, adding the west bank — largely unflooded after Katrina — has seen a “spike in crime” since the storm.In other public housing news, a group is suing HANO saying the agency is “purposely stalling the redevelopment process in order to prevent poor families from returning” to damaged public housing developments.
“The crime problem is on the west bank.”
HANO won’t reopen the developments just yet because they plan to revamp them. But HUD, also being sued, says there is no plan:
"HUD has no plan, your honor," said attorney Daniel Riess, who represents the government agency.Although HUD’s attorney said there is no plan, HUD released a statement in June that seemed to lay out a plan for the closed public housing developments:
That statement drew a double take from U.S. District Court Judge Ivan Lemelle.
"You're saying the court has no authority to review until the whole plan is given to HUD?" Lemelle asked. "Has there been any effort (by HUD) to approach members of Congress to speed up the process given the horrible impact of Hurricane Katrina on public housing?"
"I'm not aware of any approach HUD has made," Reiss replied.
"You think it's time to do that?" Lemelle shot back. "Congress has acted already in other areas."
HUD will also use a mix of federal public housing funding HANO receives annually, as well as bond funds and Low Income Housing Tax Credits to redevelop C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper, Lafitte and St. Bernard, which endured moderate to severe damage. The units will be demolished to make way for a mixture of public housing, affordable rental housing and single-family homes.If there is a plan to demolish the homes, then HANO can not let the residents move back in. If there is *no* plan to demolish the homes, then HANO *can* let the residents move back in. Either way, more than a year later, shouldn’t there be a plan?