Good Questions


In October, Senator Vitter said400units were available “right now”. Then the T-P reported as “fact” that“hundreds” of units were available “right now”. Days later, the number of available units “right now” was down to154.Does even that number hold water,
especially in light of DNOPH’s claim that last year HUD acknowledged
that the “250 prepared units…never existed”? Neither the T-P nor the
activists were willing to find out for sure.

Why didn’t
activists press hard on this dubious, evolving HUD number upon which
the T-P based so much of its reporting and editorial opinion? Wasn’t
this a politically exploitable “soft spot”? If the T-P was forced to
retract its false subheading about the “fact” that “hundreds” of units
were available “right now”, and if HUD was shown to be lying about the
154 unit number– a distinct possibility in my view– wouldn’t the
activists be in a very strong position to demand a second opinion on,
say, HUD’s rehab vs. redevelop cost numbers? Couldn’t any HUD number be
credibly disputed at that point? What if the activists presented 154
displaced families who were willing to fill up the available units, and
what if HUD was unable to come up with the 154 units that they claimed?
How would that look? How would the T-P look? Wouldn’t that be a
political winner?

3 thoughts on “Good Questions

  1. 7-0 vote by council to demolish, in a meeting where the people who were “allowed” to be there represented a markedly skewed sample of the public. Now CYA statements of fictitious opportunities (on a par with there is plenty of housing in the USA. Why don’t these people just ante up 2 million for a loft in Malibu Beach…)
    To me, one of the greatest weaknesses of the system is that no one could create a linkage between the decision to demolish and the provision of affordable housing.

  2. The Times-Picayune did piss-poor reporting on this story. Today they are jubilant! There was nothing approaching balance in their coverage.
    Some units should stay permanently, and some should go, but not abruptly, throwing the tenants outen masse. There is no place to put them.
    If you believe that HUD will take care of these folks, then I have this bridge…
    And regarding the violence outside the gates, I saw the demonstrators doing violence to gates and the police doing violence to people.
    I’m not sure what went on inside.

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