District B Councilwoman Stacy Head says that more than six months ago she approached the Nagin Administration requesting that they cut off New Orleans Affordable Housings funding. As previously reported and investigated by WWL TVs Lee Zurik, NOAH, a nonprofit organization and a city agency, has been accused of not living up to its contract obligation of gutting and boarding private houses for low income and elderly homeowners.
I tried to resolve this in-house by getting confirmation from the administration that NOAH no longer would receive Neighborhood Housing Improvement Funds (NHIF) or federal housing dollars, Head says. (I did this) after I learned and discovered with backup documents and substantial evidence that a program designed to help low-income elderly was at best mismanaged and at worst fraud.
Head says despite her efforts, she received no such assurance from the administration they would cut off funding, or that NOAH would be investigated.
Head is the chair of the Councils Housing Committee and a member of the Budget Committee. She says when the idea was first presented in 2006 that NOAH would be running a remediation program, she thought it was a bad idea.
Considering the amount of legitimate housing needs that are out there, this is a horrible waste of public assets, says Head.
According to Sarah Lewis from Squandered Heritage, a local blog and organization that has been investigating the NOAH group, NOAH has been awarded $3.5 million to date in city contracts.