Hats off to Mayor Mitch Landrieu for putting blighted housing in New Orleans at the very top of his agenda one year ago.
The Mayor recognized that blighted housing is the criminal incubator and an economic “downer” for every neighborhood.
The Mayor’s office released information that the city has conducted 28,024 inspections, demolished 2,280 blighted units, moved over 1000 properties to code lien foreclosure, and collected over $1.5 million in blight liens and fines. The City has also held 29 BlightStat performance management meetings.
“We’ve accomplished a great deal this past year—making our neighborhoods a better, safer place to live by reducing the number of dangerous, blighted properties in our neighborhoods,” said Jeff Hebert, Director of Blight Policy and Neighborhood Revitalization. “But in order to meet and surpass our mutual goal of revitalizing the neighborhoods of this city, we have a long road to go.”
According to the 2011 report, the City has already shown improvement in performance and results:
Revenues: Up by more than 100%
As a result of stricter enforcement and aggressive lien foreclosure, the City has dramatically increased revenues from previously uncollected blight fines.
Sheriff’s Sales: Over 1,000 writs filed
With increased financial support for fighting blight, the Law and Code Enforcement departments executed over 1,000 writs of seizure against blighted property owners to get properties out of the hands of irresponsible owners and back into commerce.
Demolition: 200% increase in blight removal
The City jumpstarted the Strategic Demolition program and re-engaged FEMA to demolish Katrina-damaged properties as well as directed the Louisiana Land Trust to demolish blighted structures sold to the State through the Road Home Program.
Nuisance Properties: Creating New Solutions
The City accelerated the Interim Nuisance Abatement Program and created the pilot Lower Ninth Ward Lot Clearing program employing local residents and ex-offenders. Since launching the program in September 2011, nearly 900 lots have been cut.