Three years ago, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority created a program called Near Miss, which opened the door for non-residential property owners to buy Road Home lots. So far, 59 properties have been acquired. But the City Council never approved the program, and most of those properties have not been zoned for commercial use.
By Brad Vogel, The Lens contributing opinion writer |
Over the weekend, David Simon, creator of HBO’s Treme, publicly critiqued the city’s ongoing blight fight. Addressing the sixth annual Rising Tide conference, he noted how odd it was to see politicians standing in front of demolitions crowing about progress. Referring to a spat with the Mayor Mitch Landrieu over demolitions on Derbigny Street, Simon observed, “[He] demonstrated that there wasn’t a great deal of novelty to his approach.”
I have to agree. Unfortunately, for all the talk of innovation, the City of New Orleans continues to push for yet another round of mass demolitions, seemingly hell-bent to display as little creativity as possible in its blight eradication effort.
New Orleans city officials this week tried to smooth an uneven policy that makes it tougher – and sometimes financially impossible – for investors to rebuild certain storm-damaged properties. It’s unclear, though, whether the change satisfies two agencies that had suspended sales of affected properties – a decision that put scores of property closings in limbo.
By Karen Gadbois – staff writer – State and city redevelopment authorities have suspended a program to sell Road Home properties until New Orleans permit officials resolve a problem that has thwarted would-be renovators by requiring costly home elevations. Dozens of property closings across the city are on hold while the matter is resolved.