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Remembering Frankie Bell Payton

Make It Right Miami: Honor Promise of HOPE VI Housing Plan

Today, Channel 4 News reported a protest of the watered down return of Scott Project Housing in the Liberty City. It seems that 850 units were demolished but only 150 will be returned. Needless to say, many in the community are outraged. If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention.

There are billions of dollars available for a tunnel and a baseball stadium but not enough money for blacks who were unnecessarily displaced while millions of dollars for housing were squandered by local government? I don't think so. Hello, black people, get a clue!

Is anyone connecting the dots on how blacks, as a group, are being marginalized more and more in this community? A few blacks in key positions in the community will not compensate for the masses. The revolution may not be televised but we're witnessing the dismantling of Liberty City live and in living color. Blacks are still displaced in New Orleans and they are displaced right here in Liberty City. We just need to think about what happened and is still happening to Overtown.

An excerpt of a news article is usually posted here with a link to the original but this time I'm posting the entire Herald article here. Please read it in its entirety.



Homes for Miami-Dade poor may not be built

An 8-year-old federal grant has only enough money for about 150 homes, not the 850 promised to Liberty City residents.

Posted on Wed, Dec. 19, 2007

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Hundreds of affordable homes promised to urban residents may not be built because Miami-Dade government does not have enough money, federal housing leaders said Tuesday.

The budget to rebuild Liberty City's old Scott and Carver housing projects is big enough for only about 150 to 175 units, according to Donald ''D.J.'' LaVoy, installed this fall by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to run the troubled local agency.

Early this year, Mayor Carlos Alvarez promised to build more than 800 units in and around Scott and Carver, part of a deal with affordable-housing activists to win their support in the unsuccessful fight against HUD's takeover.

''We still stand by it,'' Alvarez told The Miami Herald on Tuesday. ``Some of the comments that were made [by HUD staff] I don't agree with.''

At issue: a $35 million federal grant, known as HOPE VI, which Miami-Dade won in 1999 to replace the 850 units of dilapidated, barracks-style buildings at Scott and Carver. It originally called for 382 single-family and townhomes on the site.

That never sat well with some residents, who were evicted when the old buildings were demolished and believed they were promised a chance to return. They have waited through years of delays, overruns and rewritten plans -- less than $19 million of the grant remains, and not one home has been built. HUD is hoping to hire a developer early next year.

''Those folks are still irate about having to move,'' said County Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, who represents the neighborhood and has met repeatedly with displaced residents. ``Some are still homeless, still transient.''

Protests from residents and activists escalated in 2006, when The Miami Herald's House of Lies series exposed widespread waste and mismanagement of HOPE VI and other affordable-housing programs. But their escalating confrontations with county leaders were almost instantly calmed in February, when Alvarez signed the 850-home pledge with the Miami Workers Center and Low-Income Families Fighting Together.

''Cabrera and U.S. HUD have the power to marshal the necessary resources to ensure this community-led vision is realized,'' said Joseph Phelan, a spokesman for the Workers Center. ``The question is if U.S. HUD will use their power to right the wrong done to the community at Scott Carver.''

LaVoy's boss, HUD Assistant Secretary Orlando Cabrera, said the new units would cost at least $150,000 each to build -- that would leave enough for 126 units. LaVoy did not explain how he arrived at the 150 to 175 estimate, but he said it was not exact.

But Alvarez said he has always intended to leverage the HOPE grant with other money, especially tax credits that are available to private developers who build affordable homes.

''It's premature to say we don't have the money,'' he said. ``We're still very optimistic that what we said we would do, we can do.''


Now don't think that The Miami Herald is considered infallible in its reporting but who's refuting their coverage of this issue? What do the black elected officials have to say about this latest episode? The silence is deafening.

After a few moments of outrage, Liberty City residents, anyone with a history that touches Liberty City and folks who just believe in making things right should draw enough attention to this issue to force a resolution that brings back Scott residents --- and not just 150 – 175 units.

The reality is that $16 million of the federal government was squandered. The federal government should not be expected to just replace those dollars without some folks being held accountable for the original allocation of monies. Miami-Dade County government had fiscal responsibility for that money; that means the County commissioners and the mayor need to make this right.

The Carnival Center should not be bailed out, not a brick should be laid for the new baseball stadium and the tunnel until the HOPE VI residents have their homes returned. Anything less is just plain shameful. It's time to Make It Right Miami.


Related links:

Scott-Carver Low Income Housing Not Realized [Be sure to watch video also.]

HOPE VI Disgrace


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This is rotten to the core and if Mayor Carlos Alvarez thinks anyone believes he will come up with the additional monies,he should but will he?


He won't and blacks will continue to suffer because of misuse of monies entrusted to the county and lack of oversight by the federal government.


I saw that protest on TV. The black political power continues to be diluted. How many of the people who will live in the new houses will be black?

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