The Residents of Gordon Plaza who live in New Orleans are fighting for a FULLY funded relocation to move safely off of the toxic soil that the city sold to them as an “affordable housing” dream that was really a nightmare. The residents had their homes built on a toxic agriculture street landfill, which has now been deemed as the 2nd highest cancer causing neighborhood in the ENTIRE state of Louisiana. The demand is a fully funded relocation. This fully funded relocation must ensure full replacement compensation for their homes, and not devalued due to the the City of New Orleans building the homes on toxic soil. This fully funded relocation must include moving expenses and happen BEFORE any activity for construction or future projects in that area due to health concerns and people with current compromised immune systems – especially under COVID-19. #GordonPlaza
The City of New Orleans built the community of Gordon Plaza starting in 1978 and by 1981 residents, majority Black, began moving into new homes, never being told that beneath them was the former Agriculture Street Landfill. By 1994, the EPA qualified Gordon Plaza as a Superfund site. After Hurricane Katrina, the residents were denied federal aid to rebuild their homes because of the neighborhood’s Superfund status. Despite “success” in the courts, the residents of the 52 households remaining in Gordon Plaza are still waiting for relocation while continuing to live atop toxic soil.
The residents of Gordon Plaza are asking for a fully funded relocation because they are not able to simply “get up and leave.” When residents moved into Gordon Plaza, they invested all their money into new homes and the American Dream of becoming first-time homeowners. After soil testing in the streets and yards of Gordon Plaza revealed toxic levels of chemicals, the property values of the homes plummeted, making it impossible for residents to sell their homes and move to safer, uncontaminated neighborhoods. A class-action lawsuit ruling in 2006 found in favor of the residents; however, the settlements did not compensate all of the residents to fully fund their relocation, and did absolutely nothing to address restitution for their illnesses due to toxic exposure, nor did anything to address the anguish over the death of neighbors, friends and family members. Learn more about the history and timeline of this struggle and get engaged.
The time to course correct this egregious injustice is now!