Mon 10 Dec 2007
Above — an amazing video. What a fine community showing. Powerful beautiful words. Kudos to the residents for fighting back so strongly.
Today, December 10th is International Human Rights Day.
And this month, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is tearing down 4,600 units of affordable public housing in four areas of New Orleans, Louisiana and putting up private mixed-income developments, of which only 744 units will be public housing. This is after rents in the city have doubled since the hurricane, thousands of people evicted from their apartments are homeless and being denied the right to return, and most of the public housing units have only endured mild damage from the hurricane.
What is at stake with the demolition of public housing in New Orleans is more than just the loss of housing units: it destroys any possibility for affordable housing in New Orleans for the foreseeable future. Without access to affordable housing, thousands of working class New Orleanians will be denied their human right to return.
Although this situation is unique and urgent in the city of New Orleans, it does not occur in isolation. The plans for redevelopment here are part of a national assault on public housing, in which tens of thousands of homes have been demolished in the past decade.
- Kali Akuno, director of the Stop the Demolition Coalition
People are being illegally denied their right to return. Racism is rampant. Classism is rearing its ugly head. At the most vulnerable time for thousands of displaced renters.
There’s a call to action this week to save NOLA’s public housing units, please check out Peoples’ Hurricane Relief Fund and Oversight Coalition and Justice for New Orleans. There’s much to be done, and the people of New Orleans, heck people around the world whose right to the city is being threatened on a daily basis, need as much solidarity as possible.
Housing is a civil right, and health and dignity have everything to do with housing.