[Hpn] KATRINA'S HOMELESS OFFERED HUD AID
William Charles Tinker
Mon, 12 Sep 2005 08:56:00 -0400
I find it really hard to believe we still have legislators who think that we
can ignore the plight
of our own displaced,disabled or working poor citizens,when they do not
realize that a motel room costs twice as much as a days pay on our states
miserly $5.15 a hour which is being laughed at even by Canadians who have a
$8.00 a hour minimum wage.
Now is the time to start ordering a body bag in your elderly mothers or
fathers size, because if we can not afford the fuel bills we certainly
shall have persons dying in their homes with out heat,and we shall point the
fingers at the culprits who did not listen.
A decent living wage will bring us all our of the ICE age into the real
world,and electronic age,as it is stated that right now a person must make
$14.50 a hour in order to rent those "urban gentrified homes" you call work
force housing,it is still unaffordable housing.
We have yet to see any person wages approaching $50,000.00 to $100,000.00 a
year here in NH reality is this we got more people like myself living on
between $800.00 and $576.00 a month SSA checks where do we live?
In The Disabled And Displaced Human Rights Struggle
KATRINA'S homeless offered HUD aid
Monday, September 12, 2005
By RHODA A. PICKETT
Officials with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are
trying to ensure that public housing residents do not lose their status as a
result of Hurricane Katrina's devastation across three Gulf Coast states.
HUD officials have told public housing authorities that they can use their
own available vouchers or public housing units to assist displaced residents
affected by the disaster.
Authorities said displaced public housing residents should sign up with a
local housing authority in the area where they evacuated to in order to
The federal agency will also try to direct them to three housing authorities
that are closest to where they are temporarily sheltered. HUD has also set
up a hotline for public housing authorities to verify that person previously
lived in public housing. The agency has established its Real Estate
Assessment Center to verify a family's participation in public housing prior
to the storm's arrival.
HUD will continue to provide Section 8 payments, without recipients having
to re-apply, and will allow a housing authority to prioritize evacuees'
admissions to public housing, officials said.
The Mobile Housing Board currently has only 88 vacancies available for
senior citizens, but no family units because of renovations and planned
demolition of A.F. Owens Homes, Jesse Thomas Homes and Orange Grove public
housing developments, officials said this week.
The irony of Katrina is that it hit at a time when the Mobile authority is
in the middle of a major renovation, demolition and revitalization effort.
The A.F. Owens Homes and Jesse Thomas Homes apartment complexes will be torn
down to make way for new homes and townhouses. Residents are being relocated
to vacant apartments in other complexes. The deadline for residents to move
is Oct. 1, officials said. In all, 787 units that make up the two complexes
will be demolished.
A $20 million HOPE VI grant from HUD in June 2004 is being used to rebuild
the area as a mixed-income community of townhouses and single-family homes,
housing officials said.
The 298-unit Orange Grove public housing development is being renovated with
the help of $12 million from a bond issue that involved a number of public
housing authorities around the state. When completed, the development will
have 32 one-bedroom units, 164 two-bedroom units and 51 three-bedroom units.
It will have townhouses
The three complexes are located next to one another north of Beauregard
Street near downtown Mobile.
"It's moving quite well and most of our folks have relocated," said Stevens
Gregory, Mobile Housing Board executive director. "My concern is that with
the hurricane damage it is going to increase the competition for units
because of the greater demand for the units that are out and that might slow
down things down a bit." Gregory said that the local authority has received
a few calls from evacuees seeking housing, but said that he expects the
inquiries to increase.
Officials at the Housing Board said there are some uninhabited apartments
that they are not counting as vacancies because they are reserved for
residents moving out of A.F. Owens and Jesse Thomas.
Gregory said that a Housing Board staff member had asked if the vacated
apartments could be made available for the evacuees, but that many that were
abandoned and slated to be torn down have been looted for plumbing lines and
"They are unsuitable and it would take months to get them back on line,"
Gregory said. "We've had a number of people arrested for doing that."
HUD officials in Washington, D.C., will allow cities to use specific housing
funds and Community Development Block Grants to help assist Katrina
evacuees. But, most of the funds allocated to the city of Mobile have
already been dis tributed for the 2005-06 fiscal year, Gregory said.
"The money has already been obligated and the contracts have been approved,"
he said. "Most of the people getting those grants are already on a
shoestring and really need it."
When the design of HOPE VI is final, the area of the public housing
development that is closest to Three Mile Creek will be off limits for new
construction, Gregory said. Instead, those areas will be turned into parks
without houses being built on them. This is the same area that was flooded
during the storm surge of Hurricane Georges in 1998.