On Friday, the Times-Picayune published a graphic showing housing construction projects around the city and indicating which had their financing in place. All four of the public housing developments were shown as not having closed on their financing. I submitted a letter to the editor Saturday calling attention to this, and questioning how the mayor could have released the demolition permits, given this information.
I delivered a public records request to the city attorney’s office on Friday. The same request will go to the mayor, the council president, the city council budget committee chair, and the clerk of council on Monday morning. We are seeking the documents which HUD, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, and the developers of the four public housing developments were to produce to enable the mayor to sign off on the release of the demolition permits for the four developments. The mayor signed off on Lafitte this week, saying he and the council were “comfortable” that HUD was complying with the conditions that were attached to the demolition approvals in December.