Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Who said Katrina would clean up the projects?
"Four public housing developments will be torn down and four others will be retained, repaired and repopulated it was announced by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Wednesday.

The St. Bernard Housing Development is fenced off in New Orleans. HUD announced Wednesday that it will reopen 1,000 additional New Orleans public housing units this summer and increase the amount it pays for rental assistance to help bring the city's poor people back.

The four slated for demolition will not be reopened prior to the work being done. They include: St. Bernard, C.J. Peete, B.W. Cooper and Lafitte.

HUD Director Alphonso Jackson said the remaining developments, Fisher, Hendee, Guste and Iberville will be cleaned up and repaired by August to accommodate another 1,000 families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Close to 1,000 units have already been repopulated."

Maybe this is a good thing, I know the projects have been a mess for years. Still . . . I'd like to see the fine print.


T. said...

I used to live in Old Gretna, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Algiers, where one of the public housing developments were. I watched them get cleaned up, deteriorate, cleaned up again, deteriorate, watched as they were selectively torn down and slowly built back up, and then deteriorate again.

Back when restaurants were actually open, a friend of mine and I used to go to Denny's and discuss our plans for New Orleans if we were put in charge. Occasionally, another patron would interject and offer their own two cents to the conversation (I met a few interesting people that way!). My solution for the housing developments was to rebuild them entirely, then lease them out as rent-to-owns, while continuing to charge them based on income. The idea was that people take pride in things they own, and are more likely to make sure to upkeep and safeguard their property if it is their own.

Of course, no telling if the idea would have worked. It's one of those things that might have been good in theory, but might have failed entirely if implemented.

Joseph said...

Sounds like a great idea. Ownership is the solution. I don't think it would fail; Habitat for Humanity makes it work for its clients.