Monday, December 11, 2006

US failing N.O. on human rights.

The Blog | Jeffrey Buchanan: Where is US Leadership in New Orleans on Human Rights Day? | The Huffington Post:
"While the US government's failures to respond to Hurricane Katrina have been well documented, fewer people realize its role in stopping the displaced from receiving the aid necessary to pull their lives back together to return and rebuild.

FEMA arbitrarily denied thousands of vulnerable displaced families access to housing aid until a federal judge ruled against the agency last week, describing FEMA's system for delivering aid as 'Kafkaesque', likening it to the writer's disturbing tales of horror. Still FEMA has refused the judges orders to begin payments while it mounts its appeal. Hurricane survivors, leaders from ACORN and Members of Congress like Maxine Waters (D-CA), Al Green (D-TX), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) pressed federal officials in Washington, DC, New Orleans and Houston this week to follow the judge's orders and resume payments to save displaced survivors facing eviction.

Thousands of families have been permanently evicted from New Orleans public housing by the city's US Department of Housing and Urban Development administrator, HANO. The agency plans to use relief funds in a saddening twist to bulldoze 5,000 habitable apartments, the majority of the city's subsidized housing, senselessly denying their former tenants their right to return home. They plan to start building mixed income housing in its place with room for about 10% as many low income people, further shrinking the city's stock of affordable housing as rental prices have already risen 70% by some accounts."

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