Monday, July 07, 2008

Right of Return Lip Service Trumped By Bureaucratic Practice

Just in case you missed it, Katy Reckdahl wrote an essential piece for yesterday's paper. It is absolutely critical reading for anyone that has been following housing and the plight of displaced New Orleanians who, by the way, still number in the hundreds of thousands.

Through the experiences of two displaced New Orleanians, the article details the inability or refusal of HUD to close bureaucratic loopholes that allow local housing authorities to refuse to pay to transfer residents back to New Orleans due to higher rent.

This has caused a standoff between HANO and housing authorities in other cities, particularly in Texas, which took in many Katrina evacuees. The Housing Authority of New Orleans can't afford to pay for any incoming vouchers, said HUD spokeswoman Donna White. So many out-of-town housing agencies -- facing the prospect of paying rent for all transferring vouchers -- have invoked the "higher rent" exception to refuse New Orleans transfers, including Martin's and Egana's.

(Never mind the fact that HANO is under the direct control of HUD)

Let's take this opportunity to remind ourselves of HUD's record in New Orleans and around the country over the last 7 and a half years.

While there is both corruption and incompetence, let us not overlook the troubling ideological ends reached as a consequence of bureacratic inaction.


Schroeder said...

Whether confusion and bureaucratic red tape are deliberate acts, or just inefficiencies, remains unclear, but the challenge and persistence required to master the process should be considered equivalent to a college degree. Reckdahl's findings parallel earlier problems aired here:

Schroeder said...


E said...

I am increasingly convinced there is something deliberate about the inability to correct bureaucratic deficiencies that ultimately further the sinister goals of a powerful cabal ideologically committed to setting up roadblocks for poorer displaced New Orleanians.