Thursday, October 26, 2006

More Chris Roberts

For a point of reference, a “dumping ground” is a place where you throw something undesirable, like trash:
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.

“The crime problem is on the west bank.”
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.

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.

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."
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:
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?


Anonymous said...

I don't have any statistics at my fingertips, ok, but I think it's safe to say much of the criminal element resides in public housing.
And,indeed, crime has spiked on the Westbank. Is there a correlation? You tell me.
All I know is, I am not happy with the increase in crime in my neighborhood.
Keep us informed, po boy. Thanks.

slate said...

Thanks so much for your last two posts. I have been following this story and was so upset I couldn't write anything coherent about it. I'm glad you could.

Zihuatanejo said...

Now is your chance:

It is ashamed that this country has lost focused on what is important during these election debates. On every major media source, on line, radio and TV talk shows, everyone is talking about the war this, or the war that.. It make me mad that nobody is talking about Katrina, New Orleans, the gulf coast and FEMA and how this adminstration clearly showed its true colors at home in a time when it was even more important than most of the Iraq stuff. Here is what I am going to be posting at these sites:

"Some people might consider all this "stay the course" and other Iraq war talk debatable. But, when you look at how this administration handled Katrina and the Gulf coast it becomes very clear how incompetent they are at governing and taking care of the real important issues. The issues at home. More than 750,000 people lost their homes. Many of them still have no relief and the billions spent on recovery was mostly sucked up by Halliburton and other middle companies that were not from the devastated areas. Small businesses that were ruined in the disaster areas have not received the relief they were promised. Why should Halliburton and other cozy companies, receive the lion's share of relief dollars? Why were people left stranded for days?

The biggest thing these guys want to do right now is steer the national debates away from this foul up. lets not let them do this. You guys should go to these web-sites and help keep these important issues alive in these discussions. Speak up New Orleans! Call in on these national radio shows and ask the question "Why aren't we talking about Katrina, Fema, and Global warming?"

mominem said...

Public housing, especially in New Orleans, has largely been a failure. The residents were forced to endure substandard conditions because of HANO's inability to effectively manage their properties. Residents would be much better off with some sort of voucher program which allowed them to find suitable housing at real market rates.

Section 8 is not the answer, it merely creates privately financed public housing, the worst of both worlds, with no incentive to do anything by meet minimum standards.