Source Newsroom: Tulane University
Newswise — A lack of affordable housing for low income people in post-Katrina New Orleans has led to controversy over the decision to demolish several public housing complexes within the city. Stacy Seicshnaydre, William K. Christovich Associate Professor of Law at Tulane University School of Law and director of Tulane Law School's Civil Litigation Clinic, says New Orleans authorities have yet to produce a fair plan to address its dire housing needs.
Post-Katrina planning has resulted in what Seicshnaydre calls "two false choices" to deal with the need for affordable housing: Either keep public housing the way it was before the storm, i.e. segregated, or redevelop it by removing blight and attracting market-rate tenants, which will reduce the number of affordable apartments.
"The proposals to redevelop public housing have focused far too heavily on 'blight removal' and removing low-income people from poor neighborhoods, and far too little on overcoming the zoning and other barriers that have helped create and perpetuate segregated housing conditions in the first place," says Seicshnaydre.
She suggests that the redevelopment be resident-conscious and resident-driven, that the redevelopment be guided by one-for-one replacement of units lost even if located off-site and that government entities funding redevelopment take concrete action to eliminate exclusionary zoning barriers hindering redevelopment and relocation of displaced residents.
For more information, see http://tulane.edu/news/newwave/060208_housing.cfm