NEW ORLEANS -- A packed and at times heated public meeting was held Thursday night to talk about proposed changes to Treme’s Iberville Housing Development.
Community members say some Iberville residents didn’t even know about the public meeting, but organizers say it was posted in the paper and flyers were handed out.
Another concern: that this project will make this Treme neighborhood less affordable to low-income families.
The historic Iberville Housing Development dates back to the early 1900s and needs major upgrades. Last year, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, better known as HANO, received a $30 million to kick start that makeover.
Iberville resident Rochelle Trotter said it’s a good thing.
“I think it’s very exciting because we’re getting an opportunity to come to the 21st century living,” she said. “It’s going to be very exciting and has been very exciting for the residents.”
Community members heard five proposals for the public housing development. The city’s plan is to turn the neighborhood into a mixed income community with more than 2400 units.
Plans would also include new retail stores, clinics and schools.
The project is one that Treme native Al Jackson welcomes, as long as families currently living in Iberville can return.
“Something needs to happen in and up as oppose to just moving them out,” he said.
Critics of the project did speak up, upset that some Iberville residents didn’t know about the public meeting.
“It’s kind of disturbing to hear that people on this side of the neighborhood got fliers,” said resident Daniel Burke. “You all need to do a better job.”
Other community members voiced concerns about the possible threat of low-income families being priced out of Treme because of the project.
“That’s all it is, is a scheme, a scheme from day 1 post-Katrina,” said community activist Kawana Jackson.
“People think they’re coming back as public housing residents because a lot of people are uneducated about market rate and tax credit,” said Iberville resident Stephanie Mingo.
The public is being asked to weigh-in on the Iberville redevelopment project now through June 15.