'Disband the LRA' declare survivors and advocates to the Louisiana Legislative Special Session

Press Release                                                                                        
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    For More Information Contact:
December 6, 2006             Malcolm Suber, PHRF 504.931.7614
Monifa Bandele, Change the Game

"Disband the LRA"
Declare survivors and advocates to the Louisiana Legislative Special Session
Press Conference
Capitol Mall, Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge, Friday December 8, 3pm -- Members of the statewide coalition People's Hurricane Relief Fund will be holding a press conference to demand that Louisiana Legislature during this special session move to disband Governor Kathleen Blanco's Louisiana Recovery Authority, overhaul the Road Home program and create a democratically elected body to oversee the recovery process. Guest speakers include Brenda Mitchell, President --United Teachers of New Orleans
The Peoples Hurricane Relief Fund calls the Road Home Program a fraud and an attempt for developers to permanently displace working class and poor New Orleanians. Current LRA grant policy prevents those with modest means from rebuilding because the maximum grant of $150,000 is based on the pre-Katrina value of one's home… minus any insurance proceeds… minus any FEMA grants… minus penalties for not having flood insurance… minus penalties for moving out of the state if the homeowner sells her/his property; thus leaving homeowners with not enough funds to rebuild.  "Governor Kathleen Blanco has hijacked over $10 billion from the Federal Government. Congress appropriated this money to assist displaced people and to reconstruct New Orleans and other areas damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita"—Viola Washington, Welfare Rights Organization.  
Organizers are also protesting the lack of any assistance given to renters. Instead there is an attempt to demolish 5100 units of public housing and waive aspects of the HUD Block Grant Program that provide protections to low-income renters. "A resident return program with the guiding principles of justice and equity is needed. This includes renters along with homeowners. Renters should be able to return to a City where there is affordable housing; not housing priced out of the range of the majority of New Orleans' working people. Those who had homes with paid off mortgages should have their homes replaced"-- Malcolm Suber, PHRF.  
PHRF Demands:
The LRA be disbanded and a representative institution or body is created to oversee and govern the recovery and reconstruction process;
Renters are compensated for their losses and are provided with resources to aid with moving costs, deposits, and rent assistance;

All of the public housing units in New Orleans are reopened immediately;
There is no demolition of any of the public housing units in New Orleans;
Rent gouging cease and decent affordable housing be made available; and
Funds for the total replacement of privately owned homes be made available.