This week the mass media and local media have helped us illuminate this issue of unsolicited demolitions:
Dangerblond has posted the WSJ Front Page Story Here: Wall Street Journal .
It must be said that local freelance radio reporter, Eve Troeh, captured this story first, way back in Maarch of this year for a piece I know many of my friends caught on NPR.
The Times Picayune did a front-page feature, and we thank them for the thorough job they did on this complex issue.
One FUNDAMENTAL role of the press and journalism is to expose serious problems so that the general populace affected by an issue can take the proper action as well as force the checks and balances needed to keep our Government in line with the law. In this case, to police the expenditure of public money. The press has been an enormous help in doing this for our citizens in New Orleans confronted with accidental demolition. Our City employees have been left by our Mayor to fend for themselves. They are understaffed and many have gone beyond the call of duty to help the citizens who have contacted us and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
Right now, concrete information is what Citizens of New Orleans really need. It’s not glamourous, but it is hard to come by from the City itself. We hope to make public information actually public! Thanks to the bloggers and geeks who have been assisting us to get files and posts up while we beat ourselves to death on the ground. We cannot rebuild successfully without teamwork and solidarity.
Editor B. at b.rox.com posted Karen’s official stipple on his site and he has been a very big help getting these documents on a server so you can access them at your leisure wherever you are in the diaspora.
The current Imminent Danger Demolition List from the City of New Orleans contains about 1700 properties. If you did not see the public notice in the newspaper, the list is linked here.
As we can see from these two homes, some houses may be on the list erroneously. We have included a link to instructions on how to get your house removed from the list.
IF you need urgent assistance, please leave a comment, we can email you back and get your personal information and give you a hand in working with the City Agency to get your home removed from this list.
The City of New Orleans Imminent Danger List
On the City’s Website:
UPDATE: This week we attended the City Council Meeting all day as part of our/Stacy Head and Cynthia Hedge-Morrell’s effort to revise the original Imminent Threat Ordinance which was designed to allow the Army Corps to continue to work AFTER the emergency status of the City was lifted so they could demolish homes they had deemed Imminent Danger.
In March/April, the City of New Orleans created their own list of properties deemed Imminent Threat to Health/Safety/Danger which we see is being sloppily managed but exploites the original provision of the ordinance.
The City is using this ordinance to circumvent the due process of notification. Thus, it is time to update the ordinance to address this new application. The staff at Squandered Heritage is advocating for this revision. Due process of notification of homeowners is necessary because many homes on the current Imminent Threat lists created by the City do not meet the same criteria orginally understood under the creation of the ordinance.
Furthermore, no one at the City level is currently assuming ownership of the job of helping homeowners on the list, which is about 1700 people. One person needs to manage this process so that homeowners get the proper attention regarding their disposition on the list. We are pressing for reinspection of the list so that the burden of providing costly and inconsistent documentation for getting a home removed from the list does not lie on the homeowner. It is obvious that this list was mashed together from the seclusion of someone’s desk at City Hall in order to meet the FEMA deadline for City reimbursement of federal funds. Our photos show that re-inspection of these properties is needed as they are using public funds to excise demolition privileges some two-years after the event. The files/evaluations must be current/accurate to justify the use of public funds.
In an effort to meet a deadline for the Feds, the actual status of the property was not updated. We urge you to request a copy of your property’s file from the City to reveal this gap in the evaluations. Norris Butler can provide you with access to your file so that you may see how it was evaluated: 658-4300.
As of Aug. 7, 2007, Squandered Heritage Has 731 Photographs Of Properties on The Imminent Danger List: (actually we have more but we are releasing them slowly).