While pitting housing advocates and developers against one another, in yet another made-for-media black and white battle of the haves and have-nots, the controversy surrounding the demolition of the B.W. Cooper, C.J. Peete, St. Bernard and Lafitte projects stinks of one thing: There is more to this mess than meets the eye, and it’s hard to believe anything as hard fact at this time.
I just asked the NOLA Bloggers the following, “Who’s going to make the most economic and political dollar off this? Little progress-wise happens in this town without someone making a lot of money (they shouldn’t have made). But, does that mean it shouldn’t happen?” On the face of it, these are two different questions, but plans for the land dictate who will live there post-demolition.
Will those who desire to return to New Orleans be treated fairly when it comes to housing? I don’t care for the projects, not one bit, but will they be replaced with mixed-income housing or high-dollar condos? Who will own the land and units? All I ask for is a concrete plan with the city’s assurance of sticking to it before we get a bunch of empty lots, while other, more blighted housing developments still stand.
And then there’s the ultra-cynical streak: Forget the projects, forget mixed-income housing, forget the condos, forget building anything in New Orleans until these questions are answered: Who’s going to live in these places? Who’s going to live in St. Bernard and who will occupy Tracage? The problem of infrastructure (or lack thereof) cuts across all income boundaries. A flawed criminal justice system, horrible school administrations, robberies, assaults, murders, Entergy, S&WB, potholes, pumps, levees and corruption affect us all. We can’t make this city better for all who live here now, and want more back to join us in our misery?