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Title: Press conference to Oppose Demolition of Public Ho
START DATE: 10/24/2006
START TIME: 4:00 PM
Duration: 1 Hours
Location: Gentilly
Location Details:
HANO Office,
4100 Touro St.
(near intersection of Gentilly and Elysian Fields)
Event Topic: Housing
Event Type: Rally
Contact Name: Jay Arena
Contact Email: jarena@tulane.edu
Contact Phone: 504-520-9521
DESCRIPTION:
For Immediate Release

Re-Open New Orleans’ Public Housing Now!
No to HANO and HUD’s Criminal Demolition Plan!

Press Conference and Rally
Tuesday, October 24 @ 4 PM
HANO Office, 4100 Touro St.

The United Front for Affordable Housing and C3/Hands off Iberville will hold a press conference and rally at the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) office at 4 PM on Tuesday, October 24. This press conference is called to publicly oppose and condemn, in the strongest possible terms, HANO’s plans, backed by the Bush administration, to demolish the St. Bernard, Lafitte, B.W. Cooper and C.J. Peete public housing developments. This would involve the destruction of 4,500 desperately needed, affordable, apartments in New Orleans, while so-called ‘redevelopment’ plans call for only rebuilding a fraction of them.

We oppose this plan since it violates human rights conventions the U.S. is bound to uphold. The United States of America, as a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and as a signatory to the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), has a legal and moral obligation to address and correct the numerous human rights violations occurring in New Orleans and the Gulf region. In particular, the government has a duty, as part of the Pinheiro Principles on the Treatment of Internally-Displaced Persons developed by the international community, to facilitate the return of those displaced by natural disasters. Instead, the Bush administration controlled HANO is in fact blocking people from returning by fencing off their communities, and now trying to demolish them altogether. This must be stopped!

We oppose this plan since it is deeply racist. Public housing, before Katrina, was home to approximately 5,100 working class families, almost all African American. Yet, HANO, with direction from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, have blocked attempts by residents to return and clean up their homes. Now they want to permanently destroy these dwellings, so the former residents can never return. This is nothing but a form of class and ethnic cleansing.

We oppose this plan since it is not cost effective and will contribute to a further rise in private sector rents. It will cost $450 million more to demolish and rebuild Lafitte, CJ Peete, BW Cooper and St. Bernard than to repair them. Furthermore, the removal of these 4,500 units from the rental market has contributed to a 70% rise in post Katrina housing rental rates. Affordable housing is a key part of a successful reconstruction of the city, and destruction of public housing will only acerbate the problem.

Finally, we call on the Louisiana Housing Finance Authority, and its’ chairman Wayne Woods, to reject the application for Low Income Tax Credits that HANO and private developer Providence Community Housing are requesting for their co-called ‘reconstruction’ plans. Public support should not go to a program is illegal, racist and not-cost effective.

Pres contact: Jay Arena, 504-520-9521



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