Sep 3, 2008
The rebuilding of New Orleans “often bears an alarming resemblance to a segregation re-enactment,” writes Lizzy Ratner in the Nation.
“Throughout the region, historically white suburbs, as well as one African-American neighborhood, have been tightening the housing noose by passing laws that restrict, limit or simply ban the building–and even renting–of homes that traditionally benefit poor and working-class people of color.
“Couched in the banal language of zoning and tax credits, density and permissive-use permits, these efforts often pass for legal and rarely raise eyebrows outside the small community of fair-housing monitors. But taken together–and accompanied, as they so often are, by individual acts of flagrant racism–they represent one of the most brazen and sweeping cases of housing discrimination in recent history.”
This includes a number of parishes enacting moratoria on the building of multifamily housing, as well as onerous restrictions on rental properties — and cross-burnings and arson.