City Council Ignores Housing Crisis, Discriminatory Vote Set

Coalition to Stop the Demolition
Date Published: 
December 20, 2007


New Orleans City Council will vote to continue the displacement of Black and working class families Thursday when it rubber stamps the demolition of almost 4,000 desperately needed apartments. The City Council plans to conduct a sham meeting. They will go through the motions of the required public comment, but their vote is already determined.

Council members engaged in ongoing discussions with residents and advocates have plainly stated their position: There will be a vote on Thursday. There will be no moratorium. They will approve demolition of all the developments.

"We finally cleaned up public housing. We couldn't do it, but God did." Senator Baker's comment shocked the nation in 2005. Thursday New Orleans' first majority white city council in over 30 years will vote to execute this blatantly racist vision.

Not only does this racism halt the democratic process, but there are serious conflicts of interest, misrepresentation of facts, lack of consultation with the public and a pending federal investigation of HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The Council's deliberate disregard of these factors makes their vote illegitimate.

New Orleans already has a homeless population in excess of 12,000, and by March there will be more than 50,000 families evicted from closing FEMA trailer parks. The only legitimate solution is to reopen all available housing now.

"The City Councils vote to demolish in the midst of the ever-growing housing crisis is an egregious violation of human rights. It is beyond callous, and can only be seen as malicious discrimination. It is an unabashed attempt to eliminate the Black population of New Orleans." said Kali Akuno, of the Coalition to Stop the Demolition.

The Coalition stands by its positions that HUD/HANO end all demolition attempts, reopen all existing housing, begin building new housing on property cleared decades ago, guarantee one-for-one replacement once resident input controls renovation, and revoke the illegal contracts made under Jackson.

Our Demands

  1. City Council needs to vote NO on demolition.  The Council meeting should be moved to an evening time to accomodate people's schedules and allow a full public hearing on demolition before taking a vote.
  2. The mayor needs to meet with the faith leaders who have requested a meeting with him about the housing crisis in the city.
  3. No Demolitions – reopen the existing units and rebuild dignified housing at former public housing sites.
  4. Guaranteed one-to-one replacement for all public housing residents.
  5. All available public housing units should be made available for the homeless and those likely to face homelessness from the pending loss of rent vouchers and trailer recalls.
  6. The Federal government needs to suspend demolition until the investigation of Alphonso Jackson and the contraction process is completed.
  7. Rent Control to provide deeply affordable housing so that all will be able to return to the city.
  8. Stop the privatization and gentrification of the City.