Community Advocates Battle Developers Over Mixed-Income
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 25, 2006
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA--Even though Hurricanes Katrina and Rita took a tremendous toll on the lives of countless residents along the Gulf Coast -- particularly seniors and those with disabilities -- rebuilding after the storms presents a unique opportunity for survivors.
It has also set up a showdown between developers and disability rights advocates, according to Wednesday's Times-Picayune.
The state is passing along about $100 million in federal special tax credits to housing developers as an incentive to build affordable housing, primarily in New Orleans.
Developers say the money should first be used to rehabilitate flooded buildings and build new ones for desperately needed workers.
But members of the Advocacy Center, Louisiana's federally mandated protection and advocacy system, want the money to be used to create developments that would cater to all income levels. Such projects help people with disabilities that need housing subsidies to better integrate into the community, they argue. They also want the credits to be limited to developers that include units for residents with developmental disabilities who receive support services through the state.
"We really need to do it right," said Nell Hahn, the center's litigation coordinator.
Officials with the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency were to meet this week to decide which direction to go, the newspaper noted.
"Housing battle centers on money" (Times-Picayune)
"People With Disabilities Among Hardest Hit By Hurricanes Katrina & Rita" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)