On May 1, 2005, the New York Times reported the following:
“Shereef Cheatham, a single mother of four, had been waiting five years for a rent assistance voucher when the Newark Housing Authority diverted $3.9 million in federal funds from the program in 2003 to pay for property near a proposed hockey arena downtown. She is still waiting.
Millions of dollars have been diverted from providing affordable housing for the urban poor in favor of building self-interests in the inner city. The New York Times continues to unveil the Newark disgrace:
More than 21,000 people were on the waiting list for the vouchers when the housing authority used the $3.9 million, a small portion of the total budgeted, to buy 12 privately owned lots. The purchase came after a lawsuit thwarted the city’s plan to seize them through condemnation. Those lots were crucial to building the arena, which was at the time intended to be the home for both the New Jersey Devils hockey team and the New Jersey Nets basketball team. The arena, now for the Devils alone, is scheduled to open in 2007.“
The beat goes on but someone is needed to end the beating of the poor in the urban core.