Open Government Project
A Government Watchdog Group
State of Texas
City of Galveston
Public Interest Groups
Impacted Census Tracts?
by David Stanowski
16 July 2011
Little by little the truth dribbles out!
For more than a year, the GOGP has made the case that most if not all of the census tracts in this city are unsuitable for Public Housing, which is why it should be built in high opportunity census tracts on the Mainland, AND that GHA intends to build most of its Public Housing units in the WORST CENSUS TRACTS IN THE CITY!
How could that possibly violate the Fair Housing Act?
Now that we are getting closer to the end game, and Council is starting to ask more questions, before it gives them any more money, GHA is being forced to confirm what we have been saying all along.
During the 14 July workshop, the GHA stated that there are 17 census tracts in the City, and HUD has ruled 12 of them acceptable, for some Public Housing, and 5 unacceptable. Admitting that any that are unacceptable is a big leap forward for them!
For the purposes of this article, we won't quibble with the fact that the Census Bureau web site lists 22 census tracts for this city, so we'll just play along with their number of 17, split between 12 good, and 5 bad. We should also point out that the criteria they used to determine that 12 were suitable was some kind of bare minimum standard for racial and poverty concentration that they invented to get any to pass. They certainly did NOT use anything close to Kirwan's 14-point Communities of Opportunity scoring system. But, HUD and GHA like to break the rules!
What you will see in the video posted below, that was cut from the 14 July Council meeting, is an admission that AT LEAST 5 CENSUS TRACTS IN THIS CITY ARE UNSUITABLE FOR PUBLIC HOUSING. What you will NOT see is a plan to build any in the better census tracts in the City, on the West End; a clear violation of the FHA.
You will also see the claim that HUD told the GHA that it MUST build Public Housing back on the original sites contrary to HUD's standing policy to disperse re-building away from former sites. And if that is not enough, HUD told them they must get a waiver to build adjacent to former sites, which they clearly intend to do! If you are going to violate the rules, you might as well do in a grand fashion!
There is also the admission that the three former Public Housing sites are in the five census tracts that FAIL their already very relaxed screening standards!
Therefore, we have a situation where GHA says that HUD is forcing them to rebuild in the census tracts that they have already ruled unacceptable! Has it gotten weird enough for you, yet?
The phrase that Ms. Jackson used repeatedly, "Impacted Census Tracts", is simply a euphemism for census tracts where the level of poverty or minorities is so high that Public Housing should not be located there. Since she doesn't want to keep reminding you how outrageous it is to build Public Housing in these areas, she used a buzz word with little meaning to most people!
If you do not already see why the proposed abuses of federal law in this city far exceed those in Baltimore, the video posted below should certainly begin to convince you!