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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Orleans Needs Affordable Public Housing ~ NOW ~


Help Katrina survivors come back home

Monday, July 31, 2006 New Orleans City Leaders ~ Somewhere Under the Radar

"What, exactly, is "affordable housing"? The Mayors Regional Housing Task Force, in a 2000 publication entitled Affordable Housing for the Region, defines affordable housing as "the availability of quality housing and dignified living conditions" for all segments of the population. Affordable Housing for the Region says that the economic health of the region depends on the construction of affordable housing."

A Message From The Color Of Change........

Public housing residents have been blocked from returning home for almost two years. HR 1227, which would help them come home by repairing and opening thousands of minimally damaged public housing units, has passed in the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, the senators from Louisiana are dragging their feet on this bill, and without their leadership it will die in the Senate.
Demand Senators Landrieu and Vitter protect affordable housing in the Gulf Coast by supporting HR 1227 now.

The Color of Change Asks "Please help spread the word."

Thank you for calling on Senators Landrieu and Vitter to take up HR 1227. This bill can pass in the Senate, but only if there are a lot of voices telling Landrieu and Vitter to lead the way.

Can you take a few moments and ask your friends and family to join our call to Landrieu and Vitter?

Below you'll find a brief letter you can send. Personalize it as you wish or write your own, but please send it along right away. Also, please only contact people who know you personally. Spam will hurt the effort.

You can cut and paste the text below into an email message:

Dear Friends,
Today, Congress has the opportunity to help thousands of New Orleans residents come back home. The Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007 would re-open desperately needed public housing units and make sure there is no loss of affordable public housing in New Orleans.

The bill quickly passed the House of Representatives, but the two people who should be leading the charge in the Senate--Louisiana Senators Landrieu and Vitter--are stalling, and without their support, the bill will go nowhere. I've signed on with to call on Senators Landrieu and Vitter to stop dragging their feet, and lead on this important legislation, now. Will you join us?

Since Hurricane Katrina hit, public housing residents have been fighting to return home. Unfortunately, HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) is planning to demolish most of the available public housing units--apartments that were minimally damaged by the storm--and replace them with far fewer units of affordable public housing.

In response to residents' protests, Congresswoman Maxine Waters held hearings in New Orleans, giving residents a chance to voice their concerns to Congress. Around the same time, Governor Blanco met with Congressman Barney Frank--head of the committee that oversees HUD--to discuss the need to re-open housing not damaged by the storm. The result of these meetings was H.R. 1227, The Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act of 2007.

H.R. 1227 honors the right to return of all New Orleans public housing residents and takes steps to preserve affordable housing in New Orleans. It requires the reopening of at least 3,000 public housing units and ensures that there is no net loss of units available and affordable to public housing residents. The bill swiftly passed the House of Representatives, but it won't pass the Senate unless Louisiana senators take the lead.

Why haven't Senators Landrieu and Vitter stepped up?

Race and class seem to explain Landrieu and Vitter's refusal to step up. Some have expressed a desire to see a "richer" and "Whiter" post-Katrina New Orleans, and many of them have a great deal of political influence. From what we can tell, Senator Vitter is playing to those interests by ignoring this legislation– but as a senator for all Louisiana residents, it's his responsibility to ensure that everyone who wants to come home can--not the just the wealthy, privileged, and White. Insiders tell us that Senator Landrieu is being cautious for the same reason: that she doesn't want to offend "moderate" supporters who have a similar vision for New Orleans.

The Gulf Coast Hurricane Housing Recovery Act is the last great hope for New Orleans public housing residents who want to come home. By urging the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs to take up H.R. 1227, Senators Landrieu and Vitter can make it a reality. But if the senators from Louisiana don't lead on this issue, others simply won't follow.

It's time to do what's right for New Orleans public housing residents and pass this bill in the Senate. Will you join us and demand that Senators Landrieu and Vitter support H.R. 1227.


Sent 4/24/2007

My Message to.....

Dear Senator's:
If you have a better idea, please share it with the nation. We have not forgotten what an extended man-made tragedy the aftermath has brought many citizens. We have not forgotten the raw apathy shown to the victims of a man-made catastrophe. The worst in the history of our nation. Your misperception of what affordable public housing really is, could be the only reason you have not gone forward to support this bill. We the nation won't forget that the Senate and the House of the 109th Congress, must never cross over into today's 110th Congress. Humanity, logic and common sense, wrapped in the truthful aspirations of what it is to be an average American looking ahead.
Think of all who aspire to rekindle their lives, in their home, in New Orleans. Please vote to open homes in affordable Public is past time to do the right thing for the people of the worst catastrophe in our nations history.

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