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NESRI Solidarity Letter to HUD and DHS: Stop Unjust Evictions of Bayou La Batre's Katrina Survivors from Post-Disaster Housing, Support Resident Proposal

Author(s)
NESRI
Publication Date
May, 2012
Description

 

 

Katrina survivors residing in a federally funded post-disaster housing development in Bayou La Batre, Alabama are demanding dignity in the face of unjust evictions, broken promises, and local corruption, which is leaving many in a far worse situation than they faced after the storm in 2005. 

Though the U.S. Government has indicted the Mayor and convicted the City Grant Manager for stealing funds from the $16 million development, paid for entirely with federal monies, nothing has been done to end the ongoing forced displacement of the residents by the City.  As owner and manager of the development, the City has broken the residents’ and the public’s trust, reneging on its commitments to provide a “permanent housing solution” to meet the “long-term housing needs” of the struggling fishermen, the disabled and elderly in the Bayou whose homes were destroyed by Katrina and could not afford to rebuild. 

Despite the harm already done, residents are proposing a simple solution: a democratically operated non-profit housing cooperative over which the residents would provide the much-needed stewardship over this important public asset. 

NESRI wrote the attached solidarity letter at the bequest of the Safe Harbor Resident Organizing Committee and Federation of Southern Cooperatives, demanding the intervention of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Homeland Security in the ongoing evictions of Safe Harbor residents on the basis of their continued obligations to ensure post-disaster relief is administered and governed in a manner accountable to the beneficiaries of the public program, as well as the public trust.  The letter also encourages their support of the residents' innovative proposal, which would not only restore the development to its important public purpose but also ensure the long-term respect of residents' basic human rights. 

 

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