Galveston Sees A Racial Split On Plan To Rebuild Public Housing

The public housing in Galveston, like a lot of other stuff on that island, took a pounding from Hurricane Ike.

The Galveston Housing Authority has a proposal out that would rebuild the 569 housing units lost to the storm, and held a public meeting on it last night.

How did it go? Let's let the Galveston County Daily News describe it:

The public meeting hosted by the Galveston Housing Authority on Monday ended in a shouting match between people who support the plan to rebuild 569 public housing units and those who oppose it.

Encouraging poor people to live in Galveston is a bad idea, opponents of the plan, who were mostly white, said. But without public housing, the island's nurses, teachers aids and service industry workers will have nowhere to live, supporters of the plan, who were mostly African-American, said.

Yes, well. We're sure this will all end nicely.

Opponents questioned the need to rebuild all the lost units. "[H]igh-density? We don't want it. It will just produce the same type of ghettos we had for the last 50 years," attorney Buddy Herz, a former GHA board member, said at the meeting.

Proponents say there are long waiting lists -- both before and after Ike -- for affordable housing. The plan calls for 340 apartments to be built on the four GHA properties that have been vacated since the storm, with another 229 scattered throughout the city.

There are three more public hearings on the plan scheduled before the GHA board vote in December. Will there be shouting? Why the hell not?

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