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Day 1039: Transparency, But Not The Good Kind

I was almost ready to gloss over Karen‘s and E‘s posts on the increasing likelihood of wrongdoings on the part of New Orleans Affordable Housing, Inc. and to chalk it up to just another carefully-placed hole in the New Orleans treasury.  Everyone and their dog has been robbing New Orleans blind and for decades, so what is another 2 to 4 million dollars?

It matters because these houses were remediated using Community Development Block Grants a.k.a. your tax money and mine and … wait for it … are going to be demolished using FEMA funds anyway.  Furthermore, forget the money, it is really important because these are homes of the elderly and disabled, these poor people were duped into believing their homes are alright and THEY ARE GOING TO BE DEMOLISHED.  It is clear that the list that NOAH generated was never cross-referenced with the City’s Imminent Health Threat list.  (And God alone knows who controls that list and how.) 

And then Karen posted about a house on Willow St., a property that is a) owned by Orleans Metropolitan Housing, b) being remediated by NOAH, c) should be on the City’s IHT list and d) isn’t.  NOAH’s mission is “to develop, promote and administer housing initiatives, economic development programs, youth enhancement and senior services on behalf of the city of New Orleans via the Office of Planning and Development.”  Orleans Metropolitan Housing doesn’t sound like Grandma Betsy to me so what’s NOAH doing remediating that property? 

Karen provides us with a convenient reminder – a T-P article from May 2006 – which details the exploits of my former Councilwoman, Rene “God Sent Me That Dodge Durango” Gill-Pratt, her special friend and head of Orleans Metropolitan Housing, Mose Jefferson, and Jefferson’s family in and around real-estate dealings involving Orleans Metropolitan Housing and Care Unlimited.  While Mose Jefferson, his sister and her daughter have been indicted recently “for allegedly skimming hundreds of thousands of dollars from non-profit groups they controlled,” it appears this network is quite pervasive.  Where does it stop?

Reading again the last page of the 2006 T-P article, I found that

Care Unlimited’s mission, according to agreements the group signed when it accepted the cars from the city, is to “provide minor repairs to homes of senior citizens who could not afford the expense of repairing their homes”

with a forthcoming grant at the time to

“focus on pre-employment readiness skills.”

Funny then that, in the very next paragraph, Orleans Metropolitan Housing’s mission is

to perform minor repairs to homes – “renovation and weatherproofing, windows and doors … some cleanups of lots, painting.”

And funnier still when you compare these to NOAH’s varied mission.

… to develop, promote and administer housing initiatives, economic development programs, youth enhancement and senior services on behalf of the city of New Orleans … newly constructed homes, housing rehabilitation projects, homeownership opportunities, home maintenance, job training and development and the development of safe, decent, affordable rental units … the exterior of the home is painted with minor repair to weatherboard, fascia and soffit replacement … assist owner0occupied homeowners with the replacement or repair of roofs.

Cut and paste much? 

You can see right through all of this, not that they wanted you to or care that you can.

Update: The Gambit catches wind of NOAH’s Lark.

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