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"FEMA City is now a socio-economic time bomb just waiting to blow up"

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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:42 PM
Original message
"FEMA City is now a socio-economic time bomb just waiting to blow up"
Good ol' Brownie has done a great job for the poor and displaced in FLA.


"FEMA City" (Punta Gorda, FLA), a dusty, baking, treeless collection of almost 500 trailers that was set up by the Federal Emergency Management Agency last fall to house more than 1,500 people made homeless by Hurricane Charley, one of the most destructive storms in recent Florida history. The free shelter was welcomed by thankful survivors back then; almost a year later, most are still there - angry, frustrated, depressed and increasingly desperate.

...<snip>

Most troubling, they said, is that while the badly damaged town of Punta Gorda is beginning to rebuild and even substantially upgrade one year after the storm, many of the area's most vulnerable people are being left badly behind.

...<snip>

The hurricane began that slide, destroying hundreds of modest homes and apartments along both sides of the Peace River as it enters Charlotte Harbor, and almost all of Punta Gorda's public housing. Then as the apartments were slowly restored - a process made more costly and time-consuming because of a shortage of contractors and workers - landlords found that they could substantially increase their rents in the very tight market.

As a result, the low-income working people most likely to have been displaced by the hurricane are now most likely to be displaced by the recovery, too.

...<snip>

"You almost hate to say this because of the difficulties so many people have had, but Charley tore down some buildings that needed to come down and cleared areas for much higher kinds of uses," said City Manager Howard Kunik.

An old, damaged Holiday Inn on the town's waterfront, for instance, has been demolished and will be replaced with an $80 million condominium-hotel complex, and other upscale projects are moving forward. Many residents are excited by the changes, but others - especially the poor and some in Punta's Gorda's long-standing African American neighborhood - worry they will be permanently priced out of their old home town.

Those fears were stoked last month when the city made clear that it plans to tear down a public housing complex on the waterfront to make way for much higher-income people.

"That land was just too valuable to have poor people on it," said community leader Isaac Thomas. He said that the local government is trying to help him and other black leaders save some of the modest but historic homes in the African-American East End, but that "it's a really uphill fight."

http://www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/12675...
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wouldn't that be
"bushville"?
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Fema City, Lando' Jeb, Jezuzland
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AnnieBW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is Katherine Harris Their Rep?
I think that Katherine Harris is their Congressional Representative. Either her, or whoever replaced Porter Goss. My in-laws live in Venice, which is just up the road, and Harris is their rep. The area is Repuke-land. Lots of retired people who are either rich or pretending that they are. Don't want to pay high taxes, but were the first ones screaming for FEMA money when the hurricane came!
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Gee, America has it's own "refugee camps" now. nt
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. and this is what some have planned for NO repopulation (below).

.....The hurricane began that slide, destroying hundreds of modest homes and apartments along both sides of the Peace River as it enters Charlotte Harbor, and almost all of Punta Gorda's public housing. Then as the apartments were slowly restored - a process made more costly and time-consuming because of a shortage of contractors and workers - landlords found that they could substantially increase their rents in the very tight market.

As a result, the low-income working people most likely to have been displaced by the hurricane are now most likely to be displaced by the recovery, too.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Used to call them "Hoovervilles".
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. bushville..many people lost
their homes because the bushwa sent the money to IRaq instead of stenghtening the LEVEES! And maybe people lost their lives because the bushwa didn't get their wheels turning in time to evacuate the people outta there who could not get out on their own.

"MAKE LEVEES, NOT WAR"
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pitohui Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. i'm not clear what is being suggested here
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 08:16 PM by pitohui
nobody here would be willing to live in slum housing but we should return Charley evacuees to slum housing rather than encouraging improvements in the aftermath?

there must be some compromise, keeping ppl in trailers forever is certainly not a good plan but keeping them in slum housing wasn't working so well either

we need to demand our share of the damn JOBS, then ppl can afford the better housing

raise the damn incomes, don't build more slums

and yes i realize not all can work, that's why i said raise the damn "incomes" not just "jobs" because i do feel that ssi does need to be increased for the disabled, the payments can be truly pathetic in louisiana at least
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Building 'slums' is not suggested.
But perhaps some assistance and subsidies for the residents to afford to remain in their communities while they get on their feet is in order (rather than Brownie handing out checks to those who are NOT damaged or displaced).

"keeping people in trailers forever" was not suggested.

There appears to be no effort to build affordable housing for these community members.

Why do you regard public housing as "slums"?

As an aside, they are not "ppl", they are people.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. nominated
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:01 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks, Rodeo
It is what we have feared and assumed. Here is an example of our fears already playing out.
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Coastie for Truth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. This is an American Nakba - to our own citizens in our own country
Edited on Wed Sep-28-05 08:08 PM by Coastie for Truth
Ranks with the WW 2 internment of our Japanese citizens.

BROWNIE, YER DOIN' A GOOD JOB - George W. Bush
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troubleinwinter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. A kick because "That land was just too valuable to have poor people on it"
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bobbieinok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #10
18. rich mantra..."That land was just too valuable to have poor people on it"
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SlavesandBulldozers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
12. kicked and nominated
Charley was a real bitch, I witnessed it firsthand. What it did to the already disenfranchised is a shame. Thanks for posting.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
15. Foreshadowing...........
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Nothing Without Hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:43 AM
Response to Original message
16. Recommended. FEMA does not work. Period. n/t
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 01:49 AM
Response to Original message
17. Here is a video about FEMA village from a local TV stattion.
They are NOT about to build low cost housing anywhere if we don't fight them. I don't even know how to fight them on this. Pretty bad.

http://www.nbc-2.com/Articles/readarticle.asp?articleid...
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Triana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:31 AM
Response to Original message
19. Wait'll the get their grubby hands on N.O. and LA
The (the GOP) will do the same down there.
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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
20. "they will be permanently priced out of their old home town"
That's happening all over Florida, thanks to the real estate bubble and the snowbird invasion.
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halley Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
21. Fema City
I drove past this a few months ago. Punta Gorda is a small city but was still not finished with rebuilding-a year later. This surprised me because I lived in Dade County during Andrew. South Dade was devastated but I don't remember trailers or tents for the people and it didn't take a year to rebuild. Also, the destruction from Andrew
was much more widespread.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
22. troubleinwinter
Per DU copyright rules
please post only four
paragraphs from the
copyrighted news source.


Thank you.


DU Moderator
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Greyskye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 10:50 AM
Response to Original message
23. We're going to be seeing a lot more of these 'cities'!


Recommended.
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lastliberalintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
24. FEMA USED TO WORK, PEOPLE
Please don't forget that the republican party wants to dismantle the federal governmenta, and that one way of gaining support for that is to make it seem wholly incompetent. FEMA worked quite well under the Clinton/Gore administration, and even well enough under Bush I. This is deliberate incompetence, not the "red tape" and other boogeymen that the repubs blame it on.

FEMA has not responded well to Rita, even though supplies and equipment were staged locally before she even hit. One of our local county judges finally had to threaten to send in the police and sheriff's departments before FEMA finally released generators that were in place for local use. It was 2 or 3 days before local officals were even contacted by FEMA, and then they really only got platitutes and little real help. FEMA is only just now starting to ramp up their response down here.

This is deliberate misconduct by this administration. FEMA used to work, and it could again. Please don't buy what they're selling.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
25. Rebuilding public (taxpayer funded) hous'g on the waterfront IS a bad ide
It is easily damaged by hurricaines, etc. In a highrise configurations it's detrimental to the quality of life of the inhabitants. It is necessary yet more difficult to evacuate, and it is expensive to rebuild over & over again.

Build it inland. Lo rise. Scattered. On pub. transit routes. Try doing what's PROVEN TO WORK.

Move the footprints for new beach construction WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY back. Duh. Then reap the rewards of the increased tax revenues.

COmments?
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Thtwudbeme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. There is practically NO public transportation in Charlotte County FL.
As to the moving of the units on Peace River the Housing Authority was contemplating that two years prior to Charlie. They were in pretty bad shape.

That said they need to keep the units close into town because there are precious few places to shop and many of the folks there in Public Pousing are Elderly and/or Disabled.

Also in terms of reaping tax revenues the city and county would reap them and the Housing Authority would not. Ie. Two are Local one is Federal.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-29-05 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
27. Tonight We're Gonna Party Like It's 1929 n/t
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