Sunday, July 22, 2012

Struggling to Get Back in Ward 6

The movie "Chocolate City" was about the resistance by Ward 6 residents living in Arthur Capper public housing to their forced displacement. These residents were displaced by the federal HOPE VI program, in which government officials promised them housing in the new mixed-income development on the site of their old home. This new development is called Capitol Quarter. Rose Oliphant, former resident of Arthur Capper and one of the few who could move back, is pictured here. Ellie Walton, the director of "Chocolate City," has made a nine-minute update "Struggling to Get Back" (the entire video is available at the link) documenting Rose's struggle to return to her neighborhood after six years of displacement. Ellie Walton submitted this video as testimony to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Raquel Rolnick, who was on an 18-day official mission to the United States to investigate housing rights violations. Ward 6 residents are not just gentrifiers. Residents of Ward 6, like Rose Oliphant, also take part in global movements to resist gentrification and to secure the "right to stay put."

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