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Housing Authority Of New Orleans Stays In Feds' Hands For Now


This week, The Lens, New Orleans’ investigative newsroom, has the latest on developments at HANO, the Housing Authority of New Orleans. The state-chartered agency runs publicly subsidized housing in the city, and serves up to 17,000 New Orleans families. It has been under control of the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, for abut 17 years.

The feds expected New Orleans to take back control of its public housing this year. WWNO’s Eve Troeh talked to reporter Katy Reckdahl about her story in The Lens, which says the city is not on track to meet that goal.

Reckdahl's piece includes a closer look at David Gilmore, the official leading HUD's efforts in New Orleans. She depicts him as a dedicated, unique public servant — one that many public housing representatives are not ready to see go. Here's part of Reckdahl's description:

"Gilmore’s style is folksy. He is given to wearing suspenders and a checkered shirt, without a jacket, a style that resident leader Paula Taylor describes fondly as “so regular.” He opens up his semi-annual HANO progress reports with sentimental quotes, from composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim, poet Walt Whitman,or writer Alan Paton."

Reckdahl paints the picture of New Orleans' housing agency as a public office that's greatly improved since federal receivership took hold in 2009, but one that's not ready to be handed back over to local control, as the city wrangles with federal officials over two other agencies' woes: the police department and the jail.

This news content made possible with support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.