If you read The Shock Doctrine, this news comes as no surprise. HUD/HANO has been itching to destroy the public housing in New Orleans since Katrina hit. It looks like in mid-December 15th, they are slated for demolition:
On the 12th day before Christmas, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning to unleash teams of bulldozers to demolish thousands of low-income apartments in New Orleans. Despite Katrina causing the worst affordable housing crisis since the Civil War, HUD is spending $762 million in taxpayer funds to tear down over 4600 public housing subsidized apartments and replace them with 744 similarly subsidized units--an 82% reduction. HUD is in charge and a one person HUD employee makes all the local housing authority decisions. HUD took over the local housing authority years ago--all decisions are made in Washington DC. HUD plans to build an additional 1000 market rate and tax credit units--which will still result in a net loss of 2700 apartments to New Orleans--the remaining new apartments will cost an average cost of over $400,000 each!
Affordable housing is at a critical point along the Gulf Coast. Over 50,000 families still living in tiny FEMA trailers are being systematically forced out. Over 90,000 homeowners in Louisiana are still waiting to receive federal recovery funds from the Road Home. In New Orleans, hundreds of the estimated 12,000 homeless have taken up residence in small tents across the street from City Hall and under the I-10.
What a lovely Christmas gift to give those who can least afford it. And we'll still call ourselves the richest country in the world.
In conjunction with Human Rights Day on December 10th, a variety of concerned groups will come together to resist the demolition of public housing in New Orleans. They need your help.
Lots of information and resources available at Advancement Project.