Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NOAH Lost the Key

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2008 at 5:04 PM

File this one as either one of the most inept excuses ever, or as sheer genius. When Gambit Weekly called New Orleans Affordable Housing (NOAH) http://www.noahinc.org/ and requested information about a contract they have with the city and records for the work completed, the interim director explained she didn’t remember the exact amount of the contract and that some of the records would difficult to locate.


     “I can’t find the key to the office,” NOAH interim director Tonya Durden replied.

     Durden is referring to the key to the office of NOAH’s former executive director, Stacey Jackson.

     The city hired NOAH in March ’07 to remediate flooded homes for elderly and low-income homeowners. A source at City Hall says the contract was for $2.6 million. As pointed out by local bloggers WeCouldBeFamous http://wecouldbefamous.blogspot.com/ and Karen Gadbois over at Squandered Heritage http://www.squanderedheritage.com/ and also reported here http://blogofneworleans.com/blog/2008/07/01/noahs-lark/#more-854, there have been complaints that NOAH “remediated” homes belonging to limited liability corporations and that some of the remediated homes were now on the city’s demolition list.

     Add the lost key to the list of complaints.

     The key has to have been missing for a while. Stacey Jackson, NOAH’s former director, announced her resignation in early May and her last day in the office was June 27. When I called today and asked Jackson’s replacement, Durden, for a list of all of the properties NOAH had completed (my previous calls to NOAH were ignored) and exactly how much NOAH’s contract was with the city, that’s when she offered the “key” excuse.

     Durden says she believes the contract is for probably around $2.8 million and that she will furnish a record of completed properties by this Friday. She thinks that NOAH has remediated more than 1,000 properties to date.

     Stay tuned for more.



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