NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— On Monday, the New Orleans City Council addressed plans to get the ball rolling for Gordon Plaza.
The City Council heard from officials from the Mayor’s Office, the Sewerage and Water Board, and concerned residents who said relocation efforts need to start now.
Former Gordon Plaza resident, Jacqueline Bates said she prays for change.
“I pray that you have some God in you to know that you need to do the right thing and that is to relocate the residents of Gordon Plaza. “
The Gordon Plaza neighborhood was built in the 1980s on top of a landfill.
Homes were marketed to African Americans who didn’t know the houses were built on top of toxic land, and for decades residents suffered from illnesses linked to the poisonous soil on which their property was built.
Sheena Desmond, another Gordon Plaza resident said it’s not safe.
“Y’all killed my momma! I’m not even about to say my neighbors dying, y’all killing us,” said Desmond.
City leaders said they have to hire a legal team to send appraisers to check out Gordon Plaza properties.
Councilmembers questioned the city’s timeline and motive for the third party.
Helena Moreno, the president of, the New Orleans City Council said the residents deserve change.
“I think bringing in this third party is you just looking for somebody to blame when you’re not really giving the people of Gordon plaza what they ask or deserve, that’s what I think the third party is about.”
City leaders say this will speed up the process, but say they can’t completely fund relocation efforts.
Gilbert Montano, Chief Administrative Officer at the City of New Orleans said the following:
“What our capital dollars cannot do is provide direct relocation dollars for the residents, however, we can provide property acquisition and the cost associated with relocation.”
Residents don’t want to wait. Residents of Gordon Plaza are calling for action now.
“Everybody on this board should be aggressively trying to relocate these people without question, otherwise you are consenting to their deaths,” said Aretha Lewis another resident of Gordon Plaza.
The city created a “working group” that is scheduled to meet with Gordon Plaza residents on Thursday, May 19.