[StBernard] LRA Chairman's Statement on Public Housing

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Sat Dec 22 09:28:23 EST 2007

LRA Chairman's Statement on Public Housing

NEW ORLEANS (December 21, 2007) -- Louisiana Recovery Authority Chairman Dr. Norman C. Francis issued the following statement regarding the New Orleans City Council's unanimous vote to approve the recommendation to move forward with the redevelopment of the C.J. Peete, Lafitte, B.W. Cooper and St. Bernard public housing developments. The Council also called for the one-for-one replacement of affordable housing units in the context of mixed income communities.

"I applaud the New Orleans City Council for their display of unity and courage on a critical issue that will positively impact our beloved City for many generations.

"By passing a resolution to move forward with redevelopment, the Council recognized that all of our residents must have the right to return to high-quality affordable housing and better neighborhoods.

"One-for-one replacement in mixed-income communities as prescribed by House Bill 1227 by Representatives Barney Frank and Maxine Waters and Senate Bill 1668 by Senators Chris Dodd and Mary Landrieu is absolutely critical. As we move forward, we must not give up the moral commitment to ensure that there is an adequate supply of affordable housing for our all of families.

"The Louisiana Recovery Authority has long advocated for the planning and development of high-quality, sustainable, mixed-income communities, and that's why we've committed more than $594 million to recovery programs that will do just that.

"Through innovative programs like our Piggyback Program, which combines federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and Community Development Block Grants, there are a number of high quality mixed income properties already under construction. These and other developments will transform New Orleans and develop thousands of units of affordable housing without recreating pre-Katrina concentrations of poverty.

"These are best practices used in community design across the country, and have been endorsed by the Bring Back New Orleans Commission, the Unified New Orleans Plan, and the LRA's Louisiana Speaks plan.

"The issue of public housing is one of the most difficult issues we have faced in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. While change is never easy, we must recognize that this is one of those rare moments when the storms actually provided us with an opportunity for improvement-- a chance to rebuild our homes and our communities better than before."

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated South Louisiana, claiming 1,464 lives, destroying more than 200,000 homes and 18,000 businesses. The Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA) is the planning and coordinating body that was created in the aftermath of these storms by Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco to lead one of the most extensive rebuilding efforts in the world. The LRA is a 33-member body which is coordinating across jurisdictions, supporting community recovery and resurgence, ensuring integrity and effectiveness, and planning for the recovery and rebuilding of Louisiana.


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