Plans to demolish New Orleans' largest public housing complexes face strong opposition from residents.
"The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Housing Authority of New Orleans have approved plans to demolish these complexes, landmarks in their neighborhoods, and replace them with lower-density apartment clusters for mixed-income residents.
Their decision has brought relentless opposition from former tenants who insist they want to restore their lives in their old homes...Housing officials argue that the apartments are too badly damaged to repair. They insist that redevelopment would improve tenants' lives by eliminating crime-infested dens of concentrated poverty...
But advocates for public housing - where about 5,100 people lived before Katrina, and where some 1,200 have since returned - insist that the complexes were safe during past hurricanes because they were solidly built of steel, concrete and brick. Many apartments escaped flooding from Hurricane Katrina.
The advocates also argue that tearing them down prevents a key segment of the city's workforce from returning, and excludes thousands from the city's rebuilding process."
Nearly all the families who lived in New Orleans public housing were African Americans on low incomes."