New Orleans Tenants Face Eviction by Unnatural Causes Right Now!

 
A friend of mine called last night from New Orleans; he and several other people are occupying apartments in the St. Bernard Housing Development, which the Housing Authority of New Orleans plans to demolish and redevelop, leaving thousands of tenants homeless. The city of New Orleans plans to get an injunction against the residents returning to their apartments, as well as against the occupation, as early as tomorrow. The folks inside suggested an email/phone campaign to bring the occupation and the demands of the occupiers to light. For background, you can go to

 http://www.survivorsvillage.com
or
 http://neworleans.indymedia.org
or
 http://www.commongroundrelief.org

If any of you are media people maybe you can consider doing a piece on this immediately, as time is of the essence. Or if you have any media contacts, you send the information below to someone? Or maybe you know some media person you can phone to clue them into what is transpiring at St. Bernard's? In particular, NPR and Salon.com have both run stories specifically about St. Bernard's, but I know no one at either place--do any of you? Or any other ideas, please just go ahead with them if you are so moved. If you are not in the United States and can only email the people in New Orleans, that is great; if you can also phone, terrific. And if you are a tenant or housing activist and you have access to a list of people, please email this to your list.

Here is some basic info and numbers:

Friends of St. Bernard Housing Development in New Orleans are currently occupying several apartments there in an effort to stave off the demolition and redevelopment of these buildings. They intend to stay until the scheduled demolitions are cancelled or until the residents are satisfied that their demands have been met. The occupation began on Monday, January 15, and residents have been able to go in and out to work on their homes all week. However, the city of New Orleans plans to go to court as early as tomorrow, Monday January 22, to obtain an injunction against the continued occupation of St. Bernard’s. It would be most helpful if you email or call the people listed at the end of this message and ask them to let the people of St. Bernard’s return to their homes. (If you cannot call or email, send this to someone who can)--

HUD’s own cost analysis reveals that their plan to demolish and rebuild will waste taxpayers’ money. A recent motion for summary judgment filed in a current suit to reopen the development (available at:  http://justiceforneworleans.org ) cites HUD documents that show the demolition and redevelopment of public housing “will end up costing over $175 million more than extensively modernizing the developments, and upwards of $450 million more than simply repairing them would cost.”

Please call or email the following RIGHT AWAY, and request that the city deny the injunction that makes it illegal for the tenants and their guests to occupy these apartments; and to allow the public housing residents of New Orleans--specifically the St. Bernard Housing Development tenants--to return to their homes:
Mayor Ray Nagin’s office: 504-658-4900
O.M. Thomas, President of City Council:  omthomas@cityofno.com
Arnie Fielko, City Council:  AFielko@cityofno.com
Ronald J. Pursell, Chief of Staff, New Orleans City Council:  rjpursell@cityofno.com

You can submit comments through the city of New Orleans website also: www.cityofno.com and then click on the link that says "contact us" at the bottom. Worth a try, even though it says it can take 5 business days to get back to you.

You can also report mismanagement at housing projects such as the St. Bernard Development to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to HUD Secretary Alfonse Jackson by going to  http://www.hud.gov and emailing comments that way. On the left hand side of the page is a section called “Working with HUD.”
Click on “Complaints” under that heading, and then go to “Fraud, Waste, and Abuse.” Or you can call:
HUD’s office of Inspector General Hotline at 1-800-347-3735 or emailing  hotline@hudoig.gov

In addition, contact your own Congressional representatives, tell them what you think, and ask them to get involved!

Again, if you are a tenant or housing activist and you have access to a list of people, please email this to your list.

Thank you very much for your help. I do not send these kind of messages out lightly. I know that you are all busy people and also I am sure get a lot of email, and your attention to this is especially appreciated.

------ends----
-----Sample Letter----
To whom it may concern,

Please stop the demolition of the St. Bernard Housing Development.
As you know, Friends of St. Bernard Housing Development in New Orleans are currently occupying several apartments there in an effort to stave off the demolition and redevelopment of these buildings. They intend to stay until the scheduled demolitions are cancelled or until the residents are satisfied that their demands have been met. The occupation began on Monday, January 15, and residents have been able to go in and out to work on their homes all week. Now we've heard that the city of New Orleans plans to go to court as early as tomorrow, Monday January 22, to obtain an injunction against the continued occupation of St. Bernard’s.

Please, haven't these people suffered enough? How can you sleep soundly in you home knowing these people are being denied theirs? I, and millions like me, cannot. Please stop this injustice.

Sincerely,

---Sample Letter ends---

homepage:: http://nyc.indymedia.org/

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