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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:36 PM
Original message
Merry Christmas from HUD
Merry Christmas from HUD
This Holiday Season, It's Bulldozers for the Poor, Huge Tax Credits for Wealthy Developers

By Bill Quigley



On the 12th day before Christmas, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is planning to unleash teams of bulldozers to demolish thousands of low-income apartments in New Orleans. Despite Katrina causing the worst affordable housing crisis since the Civil War, HUD is spending $762 million in taxpayer funds to tear down more than 4,600 publicly subsidized apartments and replace them with 744 similarly subsidized units " an 82 percent reduction.

HUD is in charge here, and a one-person HUD team makes all the local housing authority decisions. HUD took over the local housing authority years ago " all decisions are made in Washington, D.C. The agency plans to build an additional 1,000 'market rate" and tax credit units, which will still result in a net loss of 2,700 apartments to New Orleans. The remaining new apartments will cost an average of more than $400,000 each.

Affordable housing is at a critical point along the Gulf Coast in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes. More than 50,000 families still living in tiny FEMA trailers are being systematically forced out. More than 90,000 homeowners in Louisiana are still waiting to receive federal recovery funds from the Road Home program. In New Orleans, hundreds of the estimated 12,000 homeless have taken up residence in small tents across the street from City Hall and under Interstate 10.

In Mississippi, poor and working people are being displaced along the coast to allow casinos to expand and develop shipping and other commercial activities. Two dozen ministers criticized the exclusion of renters and low-income homeowners from post-Katrina assistance: 'Sadly we must now bear witness to the reality that our recovery effort has failed to include a place at the table ... for our poor and vulnerable."

The bulldozers have not torn down any buildings yet, and New Orleans public housing residents vow to resist. 'If you try to bulldoze our homes, we're going to fight," promised resident Sharon Jasper. 'There's going to be a war in New Orleans."

(snip)

Continued here.


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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. This hurts my heart. Recommend for outrage.
:cry:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Are there any plans to form a human blockade??????
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. Merry Christmas! You're Ho-Ho-Homeless!
I'm really just at a loss for words for this douchebaggery. They're setting it up to force poor residents out onto the streets and bring wealthy (read: white) residents in. Merry Christmas, indeed.

:puke:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. And who's doing what about it???
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Only a few humanitarians and a lot of poor people are standing up to the 'Monster of Progress'
Thousands of people are homeless (camps under I-10 overpass, etc.), and soon many more.

It's amazingly sick, and sickly amazing: the homeless have coalesced at the same place, the very site of the original wound, where the dagger of progress sliced its way into the Creole Heart of Treme decades ago.




Someday America will regret letting us die.


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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. . .
:cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. .
:hug: :cry:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. Thank you for telling me what is happening. The tragedy is more than I can comprehend.
As usual, there are very few muddleclass liberals there to stand with the poor folk.

There's a BIG message there.

Yes, I'm angry.
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:55 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. There doesn't seem to be much recourse left for the residents aside from non-violent resistance.
A federal court gave the green-light to the demolitions. What a country this has become.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. "What a country this has become." Because we ALLOW IT!!!!
Where are all the liberals?

Where is the Democratic outrage?

Where was the uproar when people who survived the SuperDome and the Convention Center were killing themselves because they had no place to live, and no way to survive?

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT OURSELVES!!!!

Just recently, I posted a PLEA for DUers to call/write about the budget... because without a veto-proof vote, there will be more cuts to housing. Can you guess what DUers did? They yawned and ignored it.

WE HAVE TO LOOK AT OURSELVES!!!!
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #16
20. .
:kick:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
19. I need to add... why just "residents"???
Why aren't muddleclass people standing with them?

Why must we always be alone in this?

Does it take a complete uprising?
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rurallib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
5. One would get the impression that HUD was dreaming of a White Xmas
for certain areas of NOLA.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #5
29. Gives the song a whole new meaning doesn't it?
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
6. If There Was Ever One Over-Riding Reason To Vote For Edwards, This Is It !!!
Hey Swamp.

:hi:
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. The dilemma of renters everywhere, but especially in HUD owned places
If you don't make payments on the property, the owner can (and often does) do anything they want.

My own son got a "move" notice out of the blue when his landlord sold his house. My son had been renting the "guest house" for about 2 years now, and was quite settled in, but the new owners don't want a tenant, so my son had to pack up and move..

The low-income housing in NOLA was probably "worth more" for the land under it, for a long time now, and once all the people were "out en masse", they took their opportunity to just never "re-fill" it, and of course the next step is to raze it and then the new condos can be built ..It stinks..but that's how they do it..

The former tenants can be mad and upset, but legally, I doubt they will prevail..

Louisiana is under new management.. republican management, and they'd be happy to see it lily-white and less poor, so the best way to do that is to not have "affordable" housing for the poor people (who are mostly black & brown people)..
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. Because we allow it. We are complicit in our silence.
:(
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
22. Mixed housing programs
were implemented by Clinton. In theory, they're a good idea. Provided you build enough replacement housing and make sure low income people can get into it. Maybe that's even where the subprime mortgage program came from, I never went back to see if the two were connected. But we need to be honest about where some of these half-baked ideas originated and remember what happens when the laws aren't written to guarantee the money.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. We have mixed use housing near us, and there's a FOUR YEAR waiting list
My friend's daughter & son in law qualify, but they have been on the list for OVER 4 years now, and have little chance of actually getting into a place so far..

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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-16-07 03:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. Yet, when I beg people to call and write about housing, it sinks like an anchor.
What's up with that?
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #27
31. I wish there was a coordinated game plan to call and write
Edited on Mon Dec-17-07 09:44 AM by Leopolds Ghost
But Bill Clinton was a big supporter of HOPE VI so strategy is muddled.

Nobody has come out and acknowledged the intrinsic failure of the
"get people off the rolls" approach to Welfare and HUD.

The metric of success is how few poor people are left in the program.

Columnists say this openly without evaluating the meaning of their words.

"Even the left acknowledges Welfare Reform has succeeded, the number of people on the rolls has dropped precipitously!"

"Mixed income housing is a huge success -- there are no signs public housing ever existed there, it looks just like a private housing development, and middle income people feel comfortable living in a neighborhood where poor people once huddled within sight of the US Capitol!"
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Yes, dead people are not counted on "the rolls". But, your other point....
the "coordination" needs to be HERE --- RIGHT HERE AT DU!!!

DUers will call and write about so many issues, but not about poverty!!!

I can't stress that strongly enough.

We simply don't matter to "liberals" and "progressives".

What does it take?

I can't tell you how hopeless I feel about it.
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #22
30. According to a developer / planning board expert I took a class under
Many "set aside units" in mixed use developments are snapped up by first time homebuyers with political / patronage / nepotism connections, i.e. the contractor's cousin's wife, the local reverend with a self-employed tax shelter and no congregation, the accountant's son and his girlfriend who are in college, the yiuppie lawyers down the street who read public notice section of the paper and buy forclosure properties with their retirement income, etc. Especially contractors' and developers' wives. They know how to work the system. These 20% "moderate income" set-asides are treated as "executive housing" for upper-middle class carpet-baggers that view it as just another rent control program to abuse by getting on the waiting list early, actual poor people with bad credit can't even get on the list for the remaining 700 units.

There is a small neighborhood of my home town that has 700 homes in it!!!!

Developers build 700 units in one stage of one subdivision for the wealthy and get indirect subsidies for the cost of streets, sewers, etc.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
10. Daniel Schorr recently made some interesting comments about Katrina:
"You assume that America will rise to save people who are at the mercy of the elements. In this case, President Bush went down to New Orleans and made a speech saying he was going to do everything. All these years later, Katrina is still with us. But then, so is President Bush."

-- Daniel Schorr
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KamaAina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
13. HANO (a wholly owned subsidiary of HUD) will now submit the plan to City Council review!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

I hope this means they've really caved, and didn't just calculate that they had the Council (whose makeup just became a bit less poor people-friendly in the recent special election) in the bag...
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texpatriot2004 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
14. Outrageous! nm
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Quantess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
18. Kicked & Recommended.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. Shameful, disgraceful theft from poor people
and as usual MSM is MIA.
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SalmonChantedEvening Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:06 PM
Response to Original message
23. Blood money.
Profits taken on suffering, with the poorest and the most desperate paying the most.

Despicable.
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countryjake Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
24. Heard that Trump was planning on building something close to B.W. Cooper...
watching videos of some of the demos they've had to save that one housing development, one of the speakers mentioned that Trump was one of the "developers" who has purchased land close by, with plans to stick up a condo tower. This probably goes back to before Katrina, when B.W. Cooper was first given the axe, to "pretty-up" the neighborhood.

Please keep us hep on all this, Swamp Rat.


Here is a link to some updates by Prof. Quigley:

http://justiceforneworleans.org/index.php?module=pagema...
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-15-07 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
25. Appalling
beyond words...
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Leopolds Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
28. It's the real War on Christmas! YOU'VE BEEN SCROOGED!


"We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans.
We couldn't do it, but God did."
-- U.S. Congressman
Richard Baker, a 10 term Republican from Baton Rouge,
speaking to lobbyists.

http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0617-20.htm

This quote is also ascribed to a senior aide
to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, where many former public
housing residents were forcibly evacuated (to live in
the "bad" part of Houston, a gerrymandered segregated area
"capable of absorbing" New Orleans' poor.)
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
32. Fuckers

Fuckers
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-17-07 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
34. Merry Commerce! The Party of Life don't call it ''Ethnic Cleansing...''
But they should. They have made half a million Americans -- the poor, almost exclusively -- refugees from their own land.

That's Central American banana dictator type-stuff.

Thanks for making so plain what the true picture of Bushco.



It is a place of pure evil.



"Almost everyone Ive talked to says we're going to move to
Houston."

Then she added: "What Im hearing which is sort of
scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is
so overwhelmed by the hospitality.

"And so many of the people in the arena here, you
know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she
chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."




Knowing the enemy is the first step in stamping them out.

To' nuestro carino de Michigan, Compay. Infinita total Felicisimas Navidad, a Usted y Todos Tuyo!
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