In the more than eight years since Hurricane Katrina, not one affordable rental housing development has been built in the Lower Ninth Ward. On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, the Louisiana Housing Corporation, formerly the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, yanked approval from the only project proposed for the Lower Ninth Ward. Families, elected officials and advocates are fighting back! The proposed affordable multifamily project represents the third phase of Global Green’s Holy Cross Project, and includes a 20-unit affordable multifamily building, adjacent to the 5 completed single family homes, and Community Development and Climate Action Center under construction. This development will offer affordable rents, low utility bills due to solar power, healthy indoor air quality, and most importantly a home for former Lower 9th Ward residents who still wish to return to their community after Hurricane Katrina.
Global Green USA, in partnership with Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, Councilmember Stacy Head, community leaders and residents joined together for a press conference at the site of the Holy Cross Project to stand our ground for affordable housing in the Lower 9th Ward.
Linda Stone, Director of the Global Green USA New Orleans office, offered opening remarks detailing Global Green’s commitment to building back the Lower 9th Ward and New Orleans as a more sustainable and resilient community. James Perry, Executive Director of Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, told the crowd of community members that it is unacceptable to deny this neighborhood the affordable housing it so desperately needs.
JW Tatum, Board Member for the Lower 9th Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement and Development, shared his experience of gathering friends in his home under candle light after Hurricane Katrina, to make plans to rebuild his Lower 9th Ward community. While John K. said this was one of the first projects worked on after Hurricane Katrina, and it brought hope to the community-- the community wants to see it through to completion.
Additional support was voiced by Kim Ford, Vice President of the Holy Cross Neighborhood Association, and Mack McClendon, Founder of Lower Ninth Ward Village.
New Orleans City Councilmember At-Large Stacy Head told reporters that she has seen first-hand what well built, well maintained housing developments can do for a neighborhood, citing the Muses project built in Central City bringing new investment into the area. Councilmember Head urged the Louisiana Housing Corporation to fix their mistake and reconsider this project in the Lower 9th Ward.
A big thank you to everyone who came out to support the Lower 9th Ward, fair housing, and sustainable development today! Thanks to the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, you can read tweets sent from the press conference @GNOFairHousing. Stay tuned for updates on the Louisiana Housing Corporation’s decision.