Displaced Public Housing Residents Make City Council Member's Neighborhood Mixed Income

Media contact: Endesha Juakali / survivorsvillage [at] gmail [dot] com / 504.239.2907 or 504.284.6975

March 3, 2007

Displaced Public Housing Residents Make City Council Member’s Neighborhood Mixed Income

New Orleans, LA (March 3, 2007) -Displaced residents and supporters will rally outside City Council member Stacy Head’s home on Saturday to demand the re-opening of New Orleans public housing. At 12:30 PM protesters will gather at the Latter Library, 5120 St Charles Ave, and from there will march to Head’s home.

“We are going to her home because she wants to keep families out of their homes,” says rally organizer Endesha Juakali of Survivors Village. “We will not let politicians kick back to rich developers so they can profit from Katrina at the expense of displaced residents. This is cronyism in its worst form.”

Despite overwhelming support for the re-opening of public housing, City Council Member Stacy Head has recently ignored public opinion and advocated for its demolition. In a recent email she states that she opposes the effort to ‘reopen public housing immediately’ even though hundreds of these homes are completely undamaged. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Head received $844,000 in campaign donations, most of which came from real estate, development and construction interests.

Since Head claims to be a ‘strong believer in mixed income housing’ displaced residents of the Lafitte, CJ Peete, BW Cooper and St. Bernard public housing complexes in New Orleans will demand that Head make her neighborhood ‘mixed income’. They will be joined by supporters from organizations that include Survivors Village, the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, Common Ground Relief, United Front for Affordable Housing and C3 Hands Off Iberville. The protest will also connect the fight for public housing with the need for fully funded public services in every neighborhood, including public education, public health systems, and public transportation.

The controversial proposed demolitions have been contested on many fronts. Two weeks ago a federal court refused HUD’s request to dismiss a lawsuit demanding the reopening of undamaged public housing apartments. After an emotional congressional hearing on affordable housing last week, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-California, authored a bill allowing 3000 displaced public housing residents to return to their homes by August 1st, and blocking HUD’s proposed demolitions until a plan for one-to-one replacement is finalized.