Housing Authority of New Orleans
The public housing in New Orleans has been subject to federal control for a number of years before Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, many of the public housing units were destroyed by decision of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These housing projects in New Orleans have also been home to important cultural contributions, such as the birth of Bounce music. In 1995 HANO had the toughest housing developments in the country. After Hurricane Katrina, HANO demolished all of its units.
List of New Orleans housing projects
- C.J. Peete (Magnolia) ł 11th and 12th Wards
- Guste (Melpomene) ł 2nd Ward
- B.W. Cooper (Calliope) ł 2nd Ward
- St. Thomas ł 10th Ward
- St. Bernard ł 7th Ward
- Desire ł 9th Ward
- Florida ł 9th Ward
- Lafitte 6th Ward
- Iberville ł 4th Ward
- Press Park ł 9th Ward
In June 2011, Senate Bill 78 of the Regular Louisiana Legislative Session, introduced by Senator Edwin R. Murray of New Orleans and then HANO Chief Mitchel S. J. Dussett created the Housing Authority of New Orleans Police Department. The statute gave the officers the same authority as that of the Louisiana State Police. Currently the department employs full-time commissioned police officers who are primarily responsible for providing protective services within and around the public housing developments. In addition, these officers provide assistance to the New Orleans Police Department on a daily basis by answering calls for service in and around the developments. The officers employed by HANO have the authority to effect arrests, issue traffic citations, issue municipal summons and enforce municipal, state and federal laws.
Post-Katrina reductions and controversy
On June 27, 2006, a class action lawsuit was filed by displaced residents of New Orleans public housing to challenge the plan of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to reduce the number of public housing units in the city from 5,100 before Hurricane Katrina to only 2,000 units.
City council vote
The New Orleans city council voted unanimously on December 20, 2007 to allow HUD to destroy 4,500 units of low-income housing. HUD plans to replace the units with mixed-income housing.
The city council voted despite the arguments at the council meeting by residents who said that HUD's plan would not provide enough housing for the 3,000 families (mostly African American) who lived in the projects before Hurricane Katrina. Many more protestors clashed violently with police both inside and outside the council chambers.
One future prediction
Courtney Cowart, strategic director of disaster response for the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, predicted that the shortage of low-cost housing will get worse in the coming months, because the federal government plans to move more than 30,000 people out of government-owned trailers.
No direct public housing racial statistics are available for the City of New Orleans however, racial data from HUD's Resident Characteristics Report, as of December 31, 2013, indicate that of the 2,078 public housing units in Orleans Parish, 1,974 (95%) of the occupants are Black, or about 1% of the Parish's overall Black population of 206,985 (60.2%). The corresponding HUD statewide figures for Louisiana's 21,708 public housing units show that 17,366 (80%) of the occupants are Black, or, again, about 1% of Louisiana's Black population of 1,498,652 (32.4%). Interestingly, Blacks occupy 874,000 (46%) of the 1,900,000 public housing units nationwide, or about 2% of the 39,684,125 (12.5%) Blacks in America.
- Moreno Gonzales, John (2007-12-21). "Group Helps House New Orleans' Homeless". Associated Press via Google News. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- Jarvie, Jenny (2007-12-21). "Fury in New Orleans as housing demolition OKd". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
- Nossiter, Adam; Eaton, Leslie (2007-12-21). "New Orleans Council Votes for Demolition of Housing". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21.