Bold Action

From Scout:

When Bush spoke in Jackson Square he said this on poverty….

Our third commitment is this: When communities are rebuilt, they must be even better and stronger than before the storm. Within the Gulf region are some of the most beautiful and historic places in America. As all of us saw on television, there’s also some deep, persistent poverty in this region, as well. That poverty has roots in a history of racial discrimination, which cut off generations from the opportunity of America. We have a duty to confront this poverty with bold action.

And here is some bold action…..

WASHINGTON — U.S. Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson shed little light Monday on the future of public housing in hurricane-battered New Orleans, but said that “only the best residents” of the former St. Thomas housing complex should be allowed into the new mixed-income development that replaced it.

(continues….click Read More)

From Scout:


Jackson’s comments may presage a renewed, get-tough policy when it comes to public housing in post-hurricane New Orleans.

Jackson recently oversaw a shakeup of the Housing Authority of New Orleans, which is in receivership and controlled by his agency. He replaced the receiver and the board chairman with two officials from the HUD headquarters in Washington.

HANO spokesman Adonis Expose also confirmed Monday that the agency is considering a long-rumored policy change that would require all public housing residents in New Orleans to have a job or be in a job-training program.

Eight months after Hurricane Katrina, the future of the 10 public housing complexes in New Orleans remains an open question. Times have never been tougher for low-income people, as a shortage of rental housing after Hurricane Katrina has seen rents rise to historic levels.

While HUD has reopened some complexes, such as Iberville, most remain closed and surrounded by fencing. Eager to return, former residents have marched in protest to force the government to open more, but HUD has refused.

I never believed for a moment that Bush would take on poverty in any meaningful manner. Likewise I am well aware of the terrible crime in NOLA pre-Katrina and that it is returning. Living in fear is no fun so it is hard to fault NOLA residents who may not object to what HUD is doing. But certainly such measures will hurt those who are not criminals. This also merely shifts the consequences of poverty elsewhere. That is not a solution as those in Houston or Atlanta and elsewhere will surely point out. But I’m sure anyone who thought Katrina brought the moment for America to address poverty has realized that moment has long passed if it ever was really there.