“Out of the frying pan, into the fire”–how else could one read Ben Joravsky’s column on housing the New Orleans evacuees in shut-down Cabrini buildings [September 16]? Are we to consider it nice of CHA residents and the Coalition to Protect Public Housing to offer those who fled the ravages of the hurricane condemned housing with no heat, electricity, or running water? If the evacuees had wanted those conditions they could have stayed in New Orleans–at least it would not get as cold.

I find it cruel, heartless, and cynical that the coalition, Ms. Steele, and Mr. Joravsky preyed upon the plight of those fleeing New Orleans for their own political purposes.

As someone who has lived in the neighborhood of Cabrini for many years, I have long watched the living and social conditions of residents deteriorate. Watching the rebirth of Cabrini and its surrounding area as a mixed-income community, with amenities and opportunities for new and old area residents, I have to wonder what the real agenda of these people is. After all this time, I can only conclude that the continued protest against change betrays an intent to keep the poor poor, so that the self-appointed leaders and guardians have a captive base for their opposition to change.

Martha Riley

50-year resident of Sedgwick/North

Ben Joravsky replies:

As I wrote in my column, the vacant Cabrini-Green unit I visited had electricity and running water. For an update on what the city’s done for Thomas Lee, the subject of that column, please turn to page eight.