"I Will Be Your Neighbor Soon... I'm From Public Housing"
June 17, 2006 - A New Orleans Public Housing Protest.
Thousands of low-income, working-class, African American families have been displaced by the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) in favor of several big corporate developers' desire to cash in on the tragedy following Hurricane Katrina through building mixed-income housing. Mixed-income housing is open to only 10% of lower income families, leaving many without a home. The tactic being used are the new Eminent Domain laws legislated by Congress and the Bush Administration, which enable one more economically viable use to claim people's private property that are deemed less profitable. The residents of public housing are fighting their displacement on the grounds of undamaged housing and the right to return home legislated through the United Nations.
Many public housing developments in New Orleans were built during FDR's Work Project Administration (WPA) programs during the Depression of the 1930s and are extremely stable and beautiful brick buildings. Some were affected by the flooding due to the levee breaches, but many of the developments being slated for demolition were untouched by either flooding and suffered minimal wind damage.
In this image, Stephanie, a public housing resident speaks aloud to the unequal protections affecting lower-income residents of New Orleans Public Housing, insisting that if her neighborhood is being demolished and rebuilt as Mixed-Income Housing, then so should the neighborhoods of the affluent and upper-Middle Class.