Thursday, April 26th, 2007

Going Home To New Orleans? :: Housing and Public Policy

We want the real rebirth!
Poster of Philip Frazier by Terance Osborne

As thousands of tourists head to New Orleans for the opening of JazzFest today, featuring performances everyone from Eddie Bo to Norah Jones to the Rebirth Brass Band, plus the bittersweet return of the Hot 8, it’s important to remember that thousands of families still cannot return home.

Poor, pre-flood New Orleans residents are confronting a massive housing crisis in the as-yet unrebuilt city and the proposed destruction of public housing. At the same time, legislation now pending in Senate that might help solve the problem is being blocked by local politicians and development interests.

Tram Nguyen’s forthcoming ColorLines cover story, “A Game of Monopoly”, featured here in an exclusive sneak-peak, brings the stakes home in an emotional way:

About 4,000 of the 5,146 families who lived in New Orleans public housing remain displaced. As bureaucrats, politicians, developers and lawyers fight over the city’s redevelopment plans for low-income housing, these buildings remain closed, and residents have been told they’d have to wait for another three or five more years to return home. In all likelihood, without a drastic change of power and planning, many will never be able to come back and live in their city.

So as the Jazzfest celebration continues into next week, we ask that you please take a moment out to add your voice to the multitudes who are supporting HR 1227-the Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007. Props to and ColorLines for focusing on this important issue.

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