Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Developers versus the people. A new form of red-lining.

Redlining is the practice of lending institutions which give preferential treatment to loan applicants from areas marked off on a map, "red-lined." Other applicants, from less desirable neighborhoods, get higher interest rates on mortgages, or are turned down. In New Orleans, the developers have color-coded a map with the blessings of the "Bring New Orleans Back Commission"
Those maps, she said, are "causing people to lose hope," and others to stay away.

Willard Lewis, who is black, said many of her African-American constituents believe their neighborhoods have been unfairly "stratified to the last category" slated for redevelopment. Those who once fought for equal access to education and public facilities may be forced to fight for equal access to "relief and restoration," she said.

Noting that she was wearing a pink blouse, Morrell, a Gentilly resident, said sarcastically that she should have worn purple, the map color used by ULI for sections of the city that suffered the worst flood damage.

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