The upper 9th ward Florida public housing development has just been reopened, following a hard-working campaign by Diane Conerly to the Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO). HANO administrative receiver David Gilmore found that Florida was being ignored, with some of the worst buildings ever, but thanks to Conerly, it is being saved. Being the resident leader for the Florida housing development, she pushed Gilmore into never forgetting the people who had been waiting seven years to come home following Hurricane Katrina.
Gilmore was torn since there are such budget restrictions on all departments, but through Conerly’s sheer determination, he relented and thus happily announced at HANO’s February 19th board meeting that Parkcrest Builders had been awarded authority for 51 new units where Florida once stood.
The reason it was so important to Conerly was because she would regularly be inundated with calls from residents desperate to come home and leave their Section 8 housing. At times some of them would tell her “it’s never going to happen.” She felt so bad for them, she too “shed a lot of tears.”
Now, there are plans from HANO to erect the public housing units as well as a management office on a tract of land linked by North Dorgenois, Congress, Law and Alvar streets. This will include: six one- 25 two- and 20 three-bedroom units. Of the $1.3m needed to complete the project, $8.3m is coming from FEMA and $4.8m from capital funding. The plan is that infrastructure work will begin early this summer.