Monday, February 8, 2016

DID YOU HEAR WHAT I HEARD? Housing Conservation District Review Committee Meeting, City Hall, New Orleans 2007

Previously unpublished notes from 2007

This issue is so core to our humanity, and the vitriolic hate for the people who once lived in the housing slated to be demolished by HUD/HANO makes it even more of an imperative for those who do care to help those who cannot help or speak for themselves.

The following are my perception's of what was being asked of the Housing Conservation District Review Committee. I'm not very politically plugged in so I don't know everyone's name, as such, I will not be able to credit each thought individually - it will be a collective of inspired thoughts expressed at the meeting.

"Let us remember the dignity of every human being".

"We are fighting to let people know that we are human beings."

"We are the people that helped build this city."

"We are United States Citizens, human beings, and we are trying to get home."

"Housing is a human right. Affordable housing is a human right. On Human Rights Day join with people struggling for housing and the right to return."

"Give us time to work out a solution."

These buildings should be protected historically.

Are these buildings (brick housing structures) so far gone (70% structural damage in each building) that they should be demolished? Has each building been inspected according to the 2610 ordinance? Review committee answer:"No."

"This is about taking a moral stand for what is right."

"Sometimes, the will of the masses (many in the city are strongly for the demolition of the public housing structures), can't prevail." "We have working poor people living in tents, cleaning up in the morning and going to the hotels to work."

"We must do what is morally right. These are human rights that no one should question."

HUD stated while people were on the rooftops that we are going to shut public housing down."

"You are not only destroying our houses, you are destroying our lives. People are dying everyday."

"Open up your hearts, we want to come home."

"Such buildings should be preserved where ever possible."

"The buildings were made in a way you cannot afford to build today."

"HUD is tearing down buildings that look like Lafitte."

"HUD has a track record of demolishing without rebuilding. They are planing to demolish these buildings without a master plan to rebuild."

"When you demolish everything it creates a larger problem for the homeless and the displaced."

"217 buildings with 4000 apartments. Which have not been inspected for 70 percentile of damage according to ordinance 2610, and no signed contacts of anyone who will fix up the buildings."

"The historical significance - we could bull doze the French Quarter and put in a mall, but we don't. These are some of the most structurally sound buildings in the city. These brick structures are in better conduit than the wood homes surrounding them."

"Estimated 12 thousand homeless in New Orleans."

5o thousand families living in 240 square feet FEMA trailers.

100,000 homeowners who haven't gotten any Road Home monies."

"This is neither moral nor legal according to the National Historic Act of 1966.

"We went through why we feel demolishment is necessary."

"This is about the 'revitalization' of New Orleans."

"Don't do this on the backs of the poor..."

"It’s easy to take a moral view when things are easy. But we find out who we are when no one else is looking. With each step we are removed from the cruelty, we remove some of our humanity."

In the end... the historic brick buildings were demolished and put up in their places were less public housing units which the locals called "blow away" houses.


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