On Wednesday, Paul Naquin, a board member for the Southside Civic Association, was a guest on the Jim Engster show to discuss his displeasure with former mayoral candidate and property manager Steve Myers, who frequently rents his properties in the affluent Southdowns neighborhood to college students.
In his interview, Naquin said residents of Southdowns do not want poor people living in their neighborhood. He also said people with "less means" are more likely to commit crimes.
For years, the city-parish has limited rentals in A-1 residential neighborhoods with a housing ordinance that prevents more than three unrelated people from living together. To enforce the ordinance, neighborhood associations usually have to collect evidence of the violation to present to the city-parish, which then sues the property owner. In Southdowns, Naquin is well known for reporting the alleged violations and ensuring that the ordinance is enforced.
The ordinance was deemed unconstitutional last year by a district court judge, after Myers sued the city-parish. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks.
On Engster's morning radio show, Naquin discussed his latest concerns with Myers encouraging people eligible for federal housing subsidies to rent his Southdowns properties.
Here's a transcript of the interview:
Engster: Section 8 is associated with people who don't have a lot of means, and this is, of course, a very nice neighborhood we're talking about. You're not concerned about him (Myers) renting to people who might not have as many means as you, are you, Paul?
Naquin: Well, we'd like to have everybody in the neighborhood like everybody else. You know, we don't want a bunch of people in there of real poor means in there.
Engster: Why not? It might enhance the neighborhood to have some people with a different life perspective.
Naquin: Well that depends on who goes in there. You see all the trouble we have in Baton Rouge and other cities with people that don't have that much...
Engster: You're saying poor people are more dangerous than people who are affluent?
Naquin: Well, look at what's in the newspaper all day, everyday, and see who is being charged with different things and that should answer your question.
Engster: Poor people?
Naquin: We don't have a bunch of professional people who are being arrested for this, that and the other.
Naquin's interview starts at the 45 minute mark. Click here to listen.