Friday, December 31, 2010

New Orleans moves to get rid of last FEMA trailers - Yahoo! News

The few remaining are on the hit list of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who's vowed to rid New Orleans of blight by eliminating 10,000 broken-down properties over the next three years.

"This administration wants to turn a page on Katrina," said Gary Clark, a Dillard University political science professor. "The FEMA trailer has become an icon of Katrina."

But some advocates fear Landrieu's zeal to eliminate blight will hurt poor people struggling to find their way in New Orleans more than five years after Katrina flooded 80 percent of the city in August 2005.

"The blight eradication program, if not done correctly, can become a poor-person eradication program," said Lance Hill, the executive director of the Southern Institute for Education and Research, a race relations center based at Tulane University.

He said many poor people were not given the help they needed to rebuild. "We never had a resettlement agency in this city for five years."

The city is warning trailer residents that they are in violation of city zoning ordinances and that waivers granted after Katrina will not be renewed. A letter that Weber received said the city understands "the challenges residents have endured post-Katrina" but that the trailers are blight.


New Orleans moves to get rid of last FEMA trailers - Yahoo! News

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