Thursday, June 29, 2006

Fair Housing Suit filed on behalf of St. Bernard Residents; GNO Fair Housing Center Executive Director James Perry comments.

On Tuesday, June 27, the advocacy group the Advancement Project filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on behalf of former residents of New Orleans public housing. Since Katrina, according to HANO, only 1000 of the more than 5000 units of public housing occupied before the storm have been reopened, keeping thousands of New Orleans residents living in exile.

Two weeks ago, HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson unvelied a sweeping redevelopment plan for public housing in New Orleans that included the demolishing of four traditional complexes. One of those four was the St. Bernard development. Former residents of the St. Bernard had been camping outside the project in protest of the city's lack of action for several weeks before the plan was unveiled. The suit, which alleges that the plan violates fair housing laws that cover racial discrimination in housing, as well as international law that states that displaced people must be allowed to return "voluntarily, with dignity and in safety" to their homes.

James Perry, executive director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Center, an advocacy group that works against discrimination in housing in New Orleans, joined Alison on Street Talk to discuss the suit.


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