20
Dec
07

NOLA City Council Unanimously Approves Demolition of Public Housing

With a call for phased redevelopment of Lafitte in Treme, and St. Bernard in Gentilly – “where practicable.”  They also demand a replace of hard units with hard units, but allow for “affordable housing consistent with the mixed-income model,” which typically drastically reduces the overall number of housing affordable to extremely low-income individuals, which is who qualifies for public housing in the U.S.  Thus, don’t be fooled, the overall number of needed deeply subsidized units will be reduced.  The full text of the City Council motion is after the jump. 

Here, here and here is coverage of the police clash with protesters this morning at the Council meeting.  As I hear from the activist listservs, etc., I’ll do my best to update here, though Xmas officially starts tonight and runs through Tuesday with all the extended family.

I am so so sad about this. 

            WHEREAS, according to the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) at the time of Hurricane Katrina, there were 4,534 total public housing units with 2,987 occupied units in the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments; and

            WHEREAS, the HANO current redevelopment plans for B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments will demolish 4,534 total public housing units – 2,987 of these units occupied at the time of Hurricane Katrina; and

            WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans is committed to ensuring the replacement of 4,534 total hard housing units with either public housing units or affordable units consistent with the mixed income development model; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans is committed to the planned phased redevelopment of Lafitte and B.W. Cooper housing developments, and where practicable, of the phased redevelopment of the St. Bernard housing development; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans is committed to ensuring the preservation of historic and structurally sound buildings and neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans strongly believes that HANO has an obligation to the citizens of New Orleans to implement a plan that would transition public housing residents from dependence on subsidized housing to independence, through programs that include, but are not limited to, financial management, education, vocational training and workforce development, and implementation of a work requirement as allowed by law; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans reaffirms Council Resolution R-07-528 of November 1, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans strongly believes that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and HANO should be accountable to the citizens of New Orleans and thus provide quarterly updated performance reports to the Council of the City of New Orleans as to the status of the redevelopment of the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments and all other relevant issues impacting families and the opportunity to return; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans strongly believes that oversight of the construction process and efficient post-construction site management is essential to successful redevelopment of the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments; and

WHEREAS, the Council of the City of New Orleans strongly believes that HUD and HANO should make the creation of homeownership opportunities for current residents of those developments a priority; and

WHEREAS, the redevelopment of the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments is tied to Louisiana Housing Finance Authority (LHFA) Tax Credits that may be jeopardized by any delay of Council action; now therefore,

BE IT MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that this Council approves the requested demolition of the buildings in the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, Lafitte, and St. Bernard housing developments; the Lafitte Housing Development generally bounded by Orleans Avenue to the north, Lafitte Street to the south, North Rocheblave Street to the west, and North Roman Street to the east to exempt from demolition Buildings 45, 46, 47 and the Sojourner Truth Building; C.J. Peete Housing Development generally bounded by Washington Avenue to the east, LaSalle and Freret Streets to the south, Louisiana and Toledano Avenues to the west, South Claiborne Avenue on the north; B.W. Cooper Housing Development generally bounded by Earhart Boulevard, South Claiborne Avenue, Martin Luther King Boulevard and S. Dorgenois Street; and St. Bernard Housing Development generally bounded by Gibson Street to the east, Milton and St. Denis Streets to the south, St. Bernard Avenue to the west, and Senate Street to the north.

BE IT FURTHER MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that phased redevelopment will occur in the Lafitte housing development and the St. Bernard housing development, where practicable, and a minimum number of units will not be demolished and will be prepared for occupancy in the next six months in the following manner: 94 interim units, and potentially another interim 102 additional units at the Lafitte housing development, and 75 interim units at the St. Bernard housing development, where practicable.

BE IT FURTHER MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that the HUD and HANO will assure that redevelopment will begin immediately after the completion of targeted demolitions.

BE IT FURTHER MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, HUD will provide the Mayor, the Council President and the Budget Committee Chair with detailed financing plans, signed development contracts, and MOUs with each affected resident council prior to the start of demolition.

BE IT FURTHER MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that the Council will solicit local input into the redevelopment process and work with HUD to ensure equitable restructuring of the board of directors of HANO to include a HUD representative, the Mayor or his designee and a public housing resident.

            BE IT FURTHER MOVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, that the Department of Safety and Permits shall be authorized to issue the necessary demolition permits for the aforementioned request to demolish Lafitte, C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper, and St. Bernard Housing Developments.

THE FOREGOING MOTION WAS READ IN FULL, THE ROLL WAS CALLED ON THE ADOPTION OF THEREOF AND RESULTED AS FOLLOWS:

YEAS:

NAYS:

ABSENT:

AND THE MOTION WAS ADOPTED

 

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