Archive for the 'Census' Category

Why would I buy all that if I wasn’t fixing it?

August 9, 2007

I understood that New Orleans and Louisiana, in general, had affordable housing issues prior to Katrina. Unsightly housing, or blighted housing has affected many in Louisiana. I’ve seen the old barge board, shot gun homes that people are actually living in today. I’ve walked through them before they were scheduled to be demolished. I’ve seen these places all over Louisiana. People need a place to call home, a place to live, and work, and rear their children. Regardless, of the substandard housing…they pay their rent and work and play like everyone else. Sure they complain to the landlords about the structural problems of their home. All of these landlords have one excuse or another as to why they never fixed the leaky roof, the plumbing, or the stove. The rent was cheap and so possibly some tenants did not complain. They were thankful for a place to live. The issues in New Orleans post Katrina are not new, unfortunately. It appears, as far as affordable housing is concerned, that they were only, and I use that term loosely and with sarcastic undertones, exacerbated after the disaster.

Some parishes, cities, or towns, have housing inspectors and some do not. Not everyone affected by Katrina lived in either Baton Rouge or New Orleans. It is an overlooked and under-exploited fact. Most of the inspection issues are applied both at the town, city, or parish level and require little else but an ordinance and the staff to conduct the inspections. Of course, the fees for the inspections are likely the responsibility of landowners. Inspections are just another financial issue for the homeowner/ landlord to deal with that they may not be able to afford.

The post office in the year since Katrina (now two years) had issues in delivering mail to the appropriate person(s) due to the mail forwarding time limits, names, families, etc. For those of you familiar with the postal services’ rules and regulations with regards to forwarding – you understand. I’ve sent letters off in the mail to Katrina damaged neighborhoods only to find the letter back inside my mailbox several weeks to a month later. I’ve had to call local Post Masters in order to verify addresses and tell them how silly they are being, all the while knowing that these people still live at the address I’ve listed, but I have received the letter stamped, “forward expired”.

The WAFB article dated June 2007 states that the city of Baton Rouge gave her six months in order to respond. The article was written in June, and said that the woman was given notice in August of 2006. The home was not damaged by Katrina according to the article, but was damaged by a fire after Katrina in the summer of 2006. The journalist was quick to point out that the original owner of the home, was dead, but did not go into detail. Assuming that the daughter kept her maiden name, which is a large assumption, there are a number of “Davis'” on the Katrina Victim list.

Did the journalist provide pertinent and adequate detail? “Woman Upset the City of Baton Rouge Bulldozed Her Home”.

Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine points out, “We’re here from the government, we’re here to help you.” August 6, 2007 A story from the Ninth Ward’s Jason Banks on KSAT San Antonio, Texas news online.

No One Knows Why Family’s Home Torn Down – Local News Story – KSAT San Antonio: “NEW ORLEANS — Jason Banks got his trash hauled away, obtained a building permit, gutted his Ninth Ward home and was ready to renovate.

But then, the brick house vanished, reduced to a slab in an unwanted demolition.

‘I was heartbroken. I was in tears. I was furious,’ he said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said orders to tear down the house came from City Hall — but no one in City Hall is answering questions about Banks’ home.

‘They don’t know why. It happened it wasn’t on the blighted list. The last call I made yesterday, they told me FEMA did it. Then, a guy called me back from FEMA and said they’re not in the business if tearing down homes,’ Banks said.

Jason Banks said he kept his grass cut, paid his taxes and had the home appraised at $147,000. He was just waiting on money from Louisiana Road Home rebuilding program to make repairs to his house.”

And still more housing demolition articles gathered from The Truth Laid Bear.

Map with housing scheduled to be demolished in and around New Orleans. Disregard some misinformed, un-educated commentors who believe the map is a “propaganda” tool. The housing crisis before Katrina was too obvious to those who attempted to solve the problem. . . I wish it were all just propaganda! Internet maps are kewl and their display (ie linked icons – pins, circles, etc. ) oftentimes must be sized largely to create the internet link. Some of the comments here reflect extreme ignorance to both internet map making, and housing issues. Karen, listed below, also has a map of her photographed homes on the chopping block.

Still there are people who believe the housing crisis and issues in New Orleans are exclusive to the “African American” community. I have to give them credit for their media coverage, but I also have to interject that the short sighted focus on larger cities, and racial prejudice is getting into muddy water. Everyone deserves a place to call home – is my point exclusively. Others choose to make housing in New Orleans a racial issue. They can. It is their right. However wrong I feel about making this a racial issue, – the majority rules… and they are not home, yet.

Update: 11:25AM See also : Library Chronicles “It’s about G8d d*mmed time”

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal – It’s on today’s front page – link views actual paper.

Various Flickr Groups Photos
New Orleans
BloggingNewOrleans
louisiana
New Orleans Recovery
Hurricane Katrina
Defend New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina Photos – Pool
Humid City

Who is fighting poverty in Louisiana? Anonymous “stakeholders and community organizers” .

July 31, 2007

The Advocate printed an Opinion article, “Fighting Poverty in Louisiana”,  on how Louisiana is addressing its poverty issues.  It lacked depth.  First of all, its goals from 2004 are out of date.  Secondly, it states that there are “stakeholders” in all 64 parishes addressing the “problems” in their communities.  Lies, lies, and more lies. If they had published the names of these so called “stakeholders and community organizers” I’m sure the local OFS DSS offices would have distributed the information.  This is the first I’ve ever heard of the SToP Movement from DSS.  It’s a crock of bull designed to assist DSS employees in making themselves feel like they have made a difference.  The social workers before Katrina, from what some have said, had an overwhelming case load.  Like I’ve stated.  If there is still such an organization – it isn’t organized.  The article also mentioned the American Community Survey from the Census.  There will be, from what I can see from their website, a release of information in August and September 2007.  The information is based on populations 65,000+.  Now that leaves out rural areas, doesn’t it? Especially with populations under Census guidelines of 65,000+.   Good grief!  LSU AG Center defined this as “persistent poverty” and identified its sources.  It didn’t define those areas of populations at or above 65,000+ as 20% of Louisiana.  Sure, that 65,000+ slice has a 20% poverty rate.  This information leaves out rural areas of under 65,000 as in every rural community in Louisiana.

I dig statistics and information sourcing, but I don’t dig half baked articles making claims at a FIGHT!

“Fighting Poverty in Louisiana” published July 31, 2007, The Advocate, Opinion

Acting together as concerned citizens, we will address a chronic problem that is more pressing now than ever before. This problem affects hundreds of thousands of Louisiana families, costs uncounted millions of dollars, destroys our children’s potential and tarnishes our state’s image. This problem is  poverty.

According to the 2005 American Community Survey, approximately 864,277 Louisianians, or about 20 percent of the state’s population, live in poverty. Through a one-of-its-kind movement joining grass-roots stakeholders with state and federal partners, Solutions to Poverty is making strides in alleviating poverty in Louisiana, and we need people’s help.

During the birth of the Solutions to Poverty movement in 2004, education was identified as the No. 1 solution. We are grateful to Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco for her commitment to education and the $700 million new budget investment, especially $30 million for pre-kindergarten.

In other legislation backed by SToP, the governor recently signed into law two powerful new tools for fighting poverty in Louisiana: a School Readiness Tax Credit for quality child care and a state Earned Income Tax Credit for the working poor.

The SToP movement, led by the Department of Social Services’ Office of Family Support, has created a statewide network of programs to help our fragile families achieve self-sufficiency. More than 10,000 Louisiana citizens have signed up so far to participate in this three-pronged effort:

    * Community: Grass-roots stakeholders in all 64 parishes seek to identify and own solutions.

    * Policy: These groups create initiatives and suggest program improvements that enhance quality of life.

    * Legislation: Community organizers are mobilized into lobbyists for legislation that helps citizens move from poverty into self-sufficiency.

SToP solutions include promotion and implementation of the following program components: the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credit, the School Readiness Tax Credit, the Individual Development Account program, the Quality Rating System, the Microenterprise Development program, the Head Start Collaboration project, the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention initiative.

Poverty affects all of us, and everyone can be part of the solution. To join the grass-roots effort to eradicate poverty in Louisiana, contact OFS staffer Kim Lacour at (225) 342-6030.


Adren Wilson, Assistant Secretary
Office of Family Support
Department of Social Services
Baton Rouge

If you have questions or comments about the American Community Survey, please call (888)346-9682 or e-mail cmo.acs@census.gov.

Links from The Advocate
http://www.gov.state.la.us/
http://www.crt.state.la.us/ltgovernor/
http://www.legis.state.la.us/
http://www.ag.state.la.us/
http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/
http://www.ldaf.state.la.us/
http://www.dps.louisiana.gov/dpsweb.nsf/

http://www.dotd.state.la.us/