How does one get a blighted property put on the city's demolition list?
Crumbling in Treme
Blighted property is certainly an issue in our city, but it's getting better. According to the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center, in March 2012 there were an estimated 35,700 blighted properties in New Orleans, a decrease from 43,755 reported in 2010. Soon after he took office in 2010, Mayor Mitch Landrieu initiated aggressive strategies to reduce blight by 10,000 properties by 2014. On Jan. 9, Landrieu announced the city had exceeded that goal.
Here is the blighted property process, which can be found at the City of New Orleans website (www.nola.gov/code-enforcement/fighting-blight):
Blighted property can be identified either by a city inspector or a citizen's call to 311. Once a case is opened, citizens can follow its progress by visiting www.blightstatus.nola.gov, a website created by City Hall and the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority to provide accurate, up-to-date information. Next comes a detailed inspection of the building, which normally occurs within 30 days of the building being reported.
The Hearings Bureau must notify the property owner that a hearing on the property has been scheduled. At the hearing, the owner or a representative must provide proof either that the property has been repaired and meets city safety and building codes or that work on the property is progressing. Citizens affected by the blighted property can attend the hearing and voice their grievances.
A property owner who complies with this process may still have to pay fees. If the property is not repaired, the owner receives a notice of judgment and can pay the fee, appeal the judgment or begin making repairs. If none of that happens within 30 days, the city can seize the property and repair it or sell it at auction. Properties that don't sell can be slated for demolition.