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10,000s Face Evictions in New Orleans and Lake Charles

Through legal maneuvering, big business interests are attempting to shut out the poor from New Orleans and grab the land that was their home. The time to speak up is NOW.
Tens Of Thousands Face Eviction In New Orleans & Lake Charles

The scheme to flush the remaining poor out of New
Orleans and grab their land from them, is quickly
moving into a new phase.

Recently, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson said that he
is opposed to rebuilding the 9th Ward in New Orleans,
and is in a position to follow through with his
menacing posture.

As a followup, HUD Officials have imposed a complete
lock-out of Public Housing tenants in New Orleans,
forcing thousands out of their housing.

In addition, New Orleans Officials are now quickly
moving to evict the thousands of remaining poor people
from the city, and the eviction legal battles begin
today on October 25.

In Lake Charles, tens of thousands also face eviction
by the landlords who want to double the rents on the
potential new tenants that would replace the latest

---Stealing Land From The Poor---

Making matters worse, City Officials are seriously
considering use of an ancient law known as "usufruct"
as a means to steal land from poor people in numerous
districts of New Orleans, so that others may profit by
their loss.

[Usufruct is a centuries-old legal concept that gives
a person the right to use and profit from property
that belongs to someone else. In Louisiana -- with
its unusual legal system founded on Napoleonic code
rather than English common law -- usufruct can apply
to private property rights.]

New Orleans City Officials say, ''You are not going to
rebuild New Orleans unless you are able to get
government access to private property," an official
said. ''If government does not solve that problem,
everything else is just talk. It is foolish to believe

There are believed to be at least 100,000 homes in New
Orleans that are damaged to the point that they are
not currently habitable, and City Officials want to
profit by gaining control of these properties.

Once the land grab is be completed, the rebuilding of
New Orleans would not benefit the existing poor land
owners that are about to lose their property. See
article below called, "New Orleans considers taking
homes through legal tool"...

---Just Cause In Oakland---

Measure EE (Eviction Protections) is back in the
courts on Wednesday October 26 at 2pm in Deptartment
31 (At Post Office).

Greedy landlords have sued the City of Oakland in a
bid to kill eviction protections offered by Measure

Locals are advised to appear at the Hearing to show
support for Measure EE.

Call Just Cause for more details; 510/763-5877

Roll Back The Rents

[Thousands Face Eviction In New Orleans]
Judge throws up roadblock to immediate evictions in NO

10/24/2005, 2:29 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — With thousands of New Orleans
residents facing possible eviction, a judge on Monday
temporarily blocked landlords from forcing out tenants
unless hearings are held close to home.

Acting on a suit filed by community activist groups,
Orleans Parish Civil District Judge Kern Reese issued
a temporary order blocking eviction hearings from
taking place at the New Orleans' post-hurricane court
headquarters in Gonzales, roughly 60 miles west of the

The suit contends state law and the Louisiana
Constitution require eviction hearings to be held in
New Orleans — and any such proceedings conducted in
another parish would be illegal.

"They are going to have to physically move the
eviction hearings back to New Orleans" from Gonzales,
where they now would be held because of the court's
relocation, said attorney Bill Quigley of the Loyola
University law school, who filed the suit in Gonzales.

Although the suit hedges on legal procedure, it says
many renters are being denied their right to due
process because it would be impossible for them to
defend themselves in a court 58 miles from New

Click below for full story...

[Mass Evictions Begin In New Orleans]
New Orleans landlords ready wave of evictions

October 24, 2005

NEW ORLEANS — A flood of legal battles is set to be
unleashed Tuesday in New Orleans when Louisiana Gov.
Kathleen Blanco lifts a post-Hurricane Katrina ban on
evictions and 8,000 to 10,000 absentee tenants face
the losses of their homes and possessions.

Landlords are expected to begin filing eviction
requests with the courts immediately. If they're
successful, they can clear out abandoned apartments
and move tons of molding, waterlogged belongings to
the streets within five to 10 days. In some cases, the
landlords alone can make the decision to evict.

Attorneys and volunteers who represent low-income
Louisiana residents are expected to gather Tuesday in
Lafayette for briefings on eviction law and to rally
in defense of a possible cascade of tenant grievances.

Click below for full story...

[Thousands Of Lake Charles Tenant Evictions Allowed To
Move Forward]
Ruling allows eviction hearings (10/23/2005)


Gov. Kathleen Blanco on Thursday ruled that hearings
on apartment evictions linked to Hurricane Rita damage
can be held if both sides in the cases agree to such

Blanco amended and extended orders she issued on Sept.
6 following Hurricane Katrina that suspended legal
proceedings because of damage to court facilities and
complications to cases caused by that storm and
Hurricane Rita. The new orders are in effect until
Nov. 25 in Calcasieu, Cameron, Jeff Davis and
Vermilion parishes.

Her amended order allows for court proceedings in
landlord-tenant disputes, eviction proceedings and
lease disputes regarding immovable property, provided
such proceedings are carried out as outlined in an
Oct. 3 order by Supreme Court Justice Pascal Calogero.
Calogero allowed court proceedings in cases when both
sides agree or after a judge determines there is good
reason for the session.

Lake Charles officials prior to Thursday have stated
that no court hearings could be held over eviction
notices because of Blanco's original order. Those
officials said tenants who might want to contest their
eviction notices then could not do so.

Several local apartment complexes on Oct. 12-13 gave
notice to (thousands of) tenants to be out within 24
hours because of black mold and storm damage. The
notices were extended by some complexes but didn't
change the fact that tenants will have to move out at
some point.

Click below for full story...

New Orleans considers taking homes through legal tool

By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times | October 23, 2005

NEW ORLEANS -- Officials and community advocates are
quietly planting the seeds for an enterprising program
that could give the government temporary control over
thousands of privately owned homes decimated by
Hurricane Katrina.

An increasing number of Louisiana housing authorities
believe the proposal, which is based on an arcane
legal concept called ''usufruct," could be a key to
determining whether New Orleans will once again be a
seminal American city or will stagnate with a
population, like it has now, equal to that of Duluth,
Minn., and Fort Smith, Ark.

''The entire redevelopment of New Orleans rests on
this issue," said Mtumishi St. Julien, a longtime
community advocate, a housing adviser to Mayor C. Ray
Nagin, and the executive director of the Finance
Authority, one of the primary local agencies that
administer government housing programs. ''We have a
lot of people who, through no fault of their own, do
not have the capability to come home and fix up their
property. So our greatest challenge in redeveloping is
acquiring the land to rebuild."

The proposal would require deft legal maneuvering and
could be controversial, largely because the
Constitution severely restricts the government's
ability to control private property.

''You are not going to rebuild New Orleans unless you
are able to get government access to private
property," he said yesterday. ''If government does not
solve that problem, everything else is just talk. It
is foolish to believe otherwise."

Click below for full story...

A quarter of New Orleans housing may face bulldozers
Historical homes may be spared, but renovation costs
are skyrocketing

New York Times
Oct. 22, 2005, 9:25PM

NEW ORLEANS - As crews begin inspecting thousands of
rotting houses and preservationists begin efforts to
save them, city and federal officials say that 30,000
to 50,000 houses probably will have to be demolished.

That number represents up to a quarter of the city's
housing. A few weeks from now, when bulldozers begin
tearing into homes that once sheltered families and
nest eggs, the city will experience one of its most
painful moments after Hurricane Katrina.

"Really, the whole scope of this thing is hard to get
your mind around," said Allen Morse, who will be in
charge of the demolition effort for the Army Corps of
Engineers. "It's going to be a huge task"

Already the dreaded bright-red-orange stickers blaring
"unsafe" have begun to proliferate on houses,
signaling what is becoming a passionate debate over
the extent of the demolition.

Of the city's 180,000 houses, 110,000 were flooded,
city officials say, and half of those sat for days or
weeks in more than 6 feet of water. If as many as
50,000 homes are beyond salvaging, many of the others
could be saved with expensive repair jobs, but large
numbers of homeowners may not have the resources to
rebuild. As a result, the number of demolitions could
soar beyond 50,000.

Click below for full story...

After weathering storm, many tenants are evicted

New Orleans Times-Picayune - Oct 19 11:20 PM
As if there is any good time to be evicted, some
renters are being forced to move while alternative
housing is scarce or unaffordable in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina.

Click below for full story...



Press Conference on Tuesday to discuss unacceptable
changes to the overwhelming bipartisan bill

Washington, DC - Members of the faith-based community,
including the Catholic Church and the Episcopal Church
will join Rep. Barney Frank, Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Rep.
Joe Baca, and Rev. Emanuel Cleaver for a press
conference to denounce the GOP assault on affordable
housing provisions.

Who: Rep. Barney Frank
Members of the faith based community

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 11:30 a.m. Room
2220 Rayburn

BACKGROUND: The House on Wednesday is scheduled to
consider H.R. 1461, a bill to reform and regulate the
government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) of Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac. As part of the reforms, GSE’s will
be required to dedicate up to 3.5% in the first two
years and 5% thereafter of their after-tax profits for
affordable housing programs across the country - with
the first funds available going to hurricane damaged
areas of the Gulf Coast. However, Republicans are
expected to offer an amendment to the bill that will
prohibit faith based groups and other non-profits from
participating in voter registration and other voting
activities if they apply for this fund. This
prohibition would even go so far as to ban these
activities with their own funds. The bill passed
overwhelmingly in the Financial Services Committee by
a vote of 65-5. However, a small group of
conservative members have convinced the Republican
leadership to make unacceptable changes to the bill.
Efforts to defeat the fund in the committee were
defeated by a three-to-one vote.

Steve Adamske
Communications Director
Committee on Financial Services
Democratic Staff and Rep. Barney Frank
202.225.7141 (o)
202.225.2685 (m

[GOP Attack On Housing Orgs, Voters & The Poor, Heats
US congressmen prepare GSE amendments, Frank warns

By Kristin Roberts
October 24, 2005 -- 1 hour, 41 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key House Democrat will
oppose a bill overhauling supervision of mortgage
giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac if one of his
proposals does not get a vote on the House floor this
week, his spokesman said on Monday.

Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the top Democrat
on the House Financial Services Committee, will try to
strip from the legislation a deal among Republicans
that prohibits groups involved in voter-registration
activities from receiving money from an affordable
housing fund created by the bill.

If Frank's measure is not put to a vote on the House
floor, he will oppose the entire bill, his spokesman

The House bill's affordable housing fund was seen as
crucial to securing Democrats' support for the
legislation in committee.

But some conservative Republicans opposed and struck
an agreement after the Financial Services Committee
approved the bill to prohibit lobbying groups from
receiving affordable housing funds.

Frank has called the switch "unacceptable," and joined
other Democrats and some advocacy groups to oppose the
Republican agreement.

Click below for full story...

[Corporate Scum Bag Steals From The Poor]
Former financial controller guilty in housing
authority scam

Belleville News-Democrat - Oct 21 8:53 AM
CHICAGO - A former financial controller for a firm
that managed public housing units has pleaded guilty
to helping cheat city and federal authorities out of

Click below for full story...

[Georgia Wants $1,000 Fee (Per Family) To Locate
Housing For Evacuees]
FEMA rejects Georgia's request for Katrina housing

AccessNorthGA - Oct 24 2:33 PM
Georgia officials are accusing the federal government
of shortchanging their efforts to find homes for
families displaced by Hurricane Katrina, and some
cities have indicated they might not be able to help
because they can't afford it.

Another request rejected by FEMA would have paid a
local government a one-time fee of $1,000 per family
to compensate the government for labor costs in the
housing search.

Several Georgia cities have told state officials they
want to help Gulf Coast evacuees find new homes but
are afraid they won't be able to because of the high
costs, Ray said. Atlanta has already invested $400,000
toward its own housing search program, independent of
FEMA, helping about 35 families, Ashe said.

Click below for full story...

The latest Memo to Members from the NLIHC is full of
housing news...
Click below for Memo to Members...

Press Release
[From the NLIHC]
OCTOBER 23, 2005
Action Alert!

Save Affordable Housing Fund and Stop Anti-Democratic
Restrictions on Voter Registration

Call Your Congressperson NOW! 1-866-864-NHTF


H.R. 1461, the Federal Housing Finance Reform Act of
2005, including the new Affordable Housing Fund, is
expected to come to the full U.S. House of
Representatives on Wed., Oct. 26 or Thurs., Oct. 27.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley
(R-OH) will propose a “manager’s amendment? as a
substitute to H.R. 1461 that will include changes he
has agreed to since the bill was voted out of
committee by a vote of 65-5. These changes include
prohibitions against voter participation and other
non-partisan democratic activities by non-profit
organizations that wish to apply for and use grants
from the Affordable Housing Fund to build and preserve
affordable housing. Additionally, nonprofits that
“affiliate? with other entities that engage in the
list of restrictions would also become ineligible for
the AHF grants. The definition of “affiliate? is
extremely broad, including sharing any office space or

Click below for full Press Release...

[More on bill that attacks voters]
New Nonprofit Gag Provision in House GSE Bill

Restrictions on Affiliations, Advocacy, and
Nonpartisan Voter Participation for Grantees Must Be

Similar to 1995 Istook Anti-Advocacy Amendment


A bill that will likely reach the House floor on Oct.
26 has a provision that would disqualify nonprofits
from receiving money from a new affordable housing
fund if they have engaged in voter registration and
other nonpartisan voter participation activities or
lobbying for certain groups within 12 months of
applying for the money. They would also be barred from
these activities during the grant period, even if
non-federal funds were used to pay for it. More
specifically, the bill would sweepingly restrict any
group that affiliates with an organization that
engages in such activities from applying for funds
under the affordable housing fund.

Promoted by conservatives, this provision has
anti-advocacy antecedents that reach back more than 20
years to other attacks on nonprofit advocacy, such as
the Istook amendment and proposed changes to OMB
Circular A-122. All nonprofits should be concerned
about the precedent that would be set by this housing

Click below for full OMB Watch article...

[Housing Program/Section 8 Funding Update]
HUD Appropriations Bill Passes Senate; Funding
Increased and CDBG Preserved

The Senate approved the Transportation Treasury HUD
(TTHUD) FY06 appropriations bill, H. R. 3058, by vote
of 93-1 on October 20.

The measure is $2.9 billion more than HUD’s FY05
funding level. Section 8 tenant based assistance is
funded at $15.6 billion and the Section 8 project
based program is funded at $5.1 billion. The public
housing capital fund is funded at $2.3 billion and the
public housing operating fund is funded at $3.55
billion. The bill includes $1.9 billion for the HOME
program and $3.8 billion for the Community Development
Block Grant program. The Senate rejected the (Bush)
Administration’s proposal to eliminate CDBG.

In a huge victory for low income people, Senator
Charles Schumer (D-NY) offered a amendment that would
provide for the renewal of project based Section 8
contracts in apartment complexes after foreclosure.
Current law ends project based contracts at
foreclosure except for projects primarily occupied by
elderly and disabled people. The amendment passed and
was attached to the bill.

The Senate and House must now meet in a conference
committee and work out the differences in the two
bills. This is expected to happen prior to the
November 18 expiration of the continuing resolution.

Click below for full report...

---KDHAP Described as SLHFA (S.771/HR 1999) on
(SLHFA is the proposal to kill the Section 8 program
for the poor)
[KDHAP is the new HUD (housing) Program for Katrina's

HUD Provides More Insights into KDHAP Program

Both speakers compared the KDHAP program to the
flexible voucher proposal put forth by the
administration in various forms in recent years, most
recently with the State and Local Housing Flexibility
Act of 2005 (SLHFA) (see Memo, 4/15). KDHAP, said Mr.
Ozdinec, is a “streamlined, stripped down? version of
the Section 8 voucher program. Mr. Vargas said the
program was designed to “be flexible, eliminate all
the nonsense we’re trying to get rid of with SLHFA…?
Mr. Vargas later said, “KDHAP is SLHFA on
steroids…this is a good example of how we can do this
with more flexibility,? allowing housing authorities
to “do whatever you need to do to run your programs.?
Mr. Ozdinec said that in the future HUD will seek
input from participating Public Housing Authorities
(PHAs) on the KDHAP program that may “serve as
information on how to reform Section 8 in the future.?

According to HUD, of almost 3,000 PHAs nationwide, 400
have contracted to administer KDHAP.

Mr. Vargas expressed concern that once FEMA is able to
reconcile all the information being compiled in the
KDHAP database, the agency will stop paying states to
house KDHAP-eligible households. “The money is going
to dry up.? It is also unclear, he said, whether
previously assisted HUD households now receiving
emergency state assistance would be eligible to return
to their previous HUD programs at the end of 18

Click below for full report...

---Revisions to the Public Housing Operating Fund
[Federal Register: October 24, 2005 (Volume 70, Number
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 61366-61367]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access


24 CFR Part 990

[Docket No. FR-4874-C-09]
RIN 2577-AC51

Revisions to the Public Housing Operating Fund
Correction to Formula Implementation Date

AGENCY: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public
and Indian
Housing, HUD.

ACTION: Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY: This document corrects HUD's final rule
published on September
19, 2005, that implements revisions to the public
housing Operating
Fund Program.

Click below for full report...

---Texas Does Not Like Poor People---
[Fema is offering FREE rides to relocate poor Katrina
evacuees out of Texas]
Katrina Evacuees Have Transportion Option
Release Date: October 19, 2005
Release Number: 1606-040

AUSTIN , Texas -- Federal and State emergency
management officials remind Katrina evacuees living in
Texas in shelters, hotels and motels of their option
to move on by offering them free one-way airplane,
train or bus tickets to any destination in the
continental United States.

"We are offering evacuees transportation to join
family or friends or perhaps go to a new job
opportunity," Federal Coordinating Officer Sandy
Coachman said. "Our goal is to get people out of the
shelters and commercial housing and into a normal

The program is administered by the Texas Governor's
Division of Emergency Management and funded by the
Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).

Evacuees wishing to take advantage of this option
should visit the Travel Desk at one of the Disaster
Recovery Centers (DRC) in the affected counties, or
contact local government officials or the shelter

The focus of this program is to provide transportation
to evacuees for relocation.

Click below for full Press Release...

HUD audit finds GHA falls short

Post-Tribune - Oct 24 2:32 AM
GARY — A federal audit of Gary Housing Authority’s
Section 8 Housing program has found the agency paid
thousands of dollars to landlords whose properties did
not meet federal standards — in some cases for months
after agency staffers spotted problems.

Click below for full story...

[FBI Is Illegaly Searching Homes & Peoples Private
Documents show FBI breaking rules on spying

October 24, 2005

WASHINGTON — The FBI has conducted clandestine
surveillance on some U.S. residents for as long as 18
months without proper paperwork or oversight,
according to documents to be released today.

In one case, FBI agents kept an unidentified target
under surveillance for at least five years — including
more than 15 months without notifying Justice
Department attorneys after the subject had moved from
New York to Detroit.

In other cases, agents obtained e-mails after a
warrant expired, seized bank records without proper
authority and conducted an improper “unconsented
physical search,? according to the documents.

Click below for full story...

Click below for the Electronic Privacy Information
Center report on FBI illegal searches...

[Prisoner Housing News]
[The number of drug offenders in prisons and jails has
risen from 40,000 in 1980 to more than 450,000 today]
Increase in women prisoners
Bureau of Justice Statistics points to drugs, fraud.

Associated Press Writer
October 24, 2005

WASHINGTON -- Women made up 7 percent of all inmates
in state and federal prisons last year and accounted
for nearly one in four arrests, the government
reported Sunday.

A co-author of a Bureau of Justice Statistics report,
Paige Harrison, linked an upswing in the rate of
arrest for women to their increased participation in
drug crimes, violent crimes and fraud.

The number of women incarcerated in state and federal
prisons in 2004 was up 4 percent compared to 2003,
more than double the 1.8 percent increase among men,
the study said. In 1995, women made up 6.1 percent of
all inmates in those facilities.

"The number of incarcerated women has been growing at
a rate nearly double that of men, due in large part to
sentencing policies in the war in drugs," The
Sentencing Project, a group promoting alternatives to
prison, said in a statement.

The group said the number of drug offenders in prisons
and jails has risen from 40,000 in 1980 to more than
450,000 today. According to FBI figures, law officers
in 2004 made more arrests for drug violations than for
any other offense -- about 1.7 million arrests, or
12.5 percent of all arrests.

Those sentenced for drug offenses made up 55 percent
of federal inmates in 2003, the report said.

The total number of people incarcerated grew 1.9
percent in 2004 to 2,267,787 people. That figure
includes federal and state prisoners, as well as
713,990 inmates held in local jails, 15,757 prisoners
in U.S. territorial prisons, 9,788 in immigration and
customs facilities, 2,177 in military facilities,
1,826 in Indian country jails and 102,338 in juvenile

The country's state and federal prison population --
1,421,911 -- grew 2.6 percent in 2004, compared to an
average growth of 3.4 percent a year since 1995.

Growth last year in federal prison populations was 5.5
percent, outpacing overall prisoner growth but
slipping from the 7.4 average annual growth in federal
prison populations since 1995.

The Sentencing Project said the continued rise in
prisoners despite falling crime rates raises questions
about the country's imprisonment system. The group
said the incarceration rate -- 724 per 100,000 -- is
25 percent higher than that of any other nation.

About 8.4 percent of the country's black males between
the ages of 25 and 29 were in state or federal prison,
compared to 2.5 percent of Hispanic males and 1.2
percent of white males in the same age group, the
report said.

Blacks made up an estimated 41 percent of inmates with
a sentence of more than one year, the report said.

[Labor Camps Hit By Hurricane]
Wilma wreaks havoc on housing for Florida farm workers

10/24/2005, 5:44 p.m. CT
The Associated Press

NAPLES MANOR, Fla. (AP) — Patricio Sanchez scooped up
soggy ceiling tiles Monday from the partially
collapsed roof of the small dormitory he shares with
other farmworkers in a labor camp battered by
Hurricane Wilma.

"I was in bed sleeping when it fell on top of me,"
Sanchez said from the labor camp south of Marco
Island, among fields of peppers, tomatoes and

All over south Florida, Wilma's winds wreaked havoc on
farmworker housing, which is among the most vulnerable
to Florida's natural disasters. Workers in many of the
camp's dozen cinderblock dormitories spent the hours
after the hurricane mopping wet floors and hanging
damp clothes. Roof tiles were scattered around the two
rows of dorms, while mobile home siding flapped in the

Click below for full story...

Public housing program bogs down

Andy Bromage, Register Staff 10/23/2005

NEW HAVEN — Flames engulfed the home of 69-year-old
Gayle Heimann as she scurried down a smoke-filled
stairway to safety outside.

Her Concord Street home was the third and latest
target of a serial arsonist torching East Shore houses
that were being rented to public housing tenants,
mostly poor black families.

Federal agents were called in to investigate.

Citizens branded it racism. Aldermen were at each
other’s throats over the Housing Authority plan to
scatter public housing into upscale, mostly white
neighborhoods of New Haven. The year was 1992.

The crimes were a disquieting start to the city’s $18
million scattered site housing program, an effort
aimed at integrating the poorest families into stable
city neighborhoods, rather than warehousing them in
dense public housing developments.

Click below for full story...

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