Squandered Heritage Vintage

How to Destroy a House

This house has been the subject of interest from the neighborhood for almost 4 years. The owners are also responsible for the mess on the first block of Apple St.. They are, repeat offenders.


2 days ago the house collapsed. The owners had tried to obtain a FEMA funded demolition, sometimes called Free Demo, free because the owner does not pay but the taxpayer does. And not only does the taxpayer pay, the City pays as well in the loss of a viable home and the illusion of recovery money. Those costs will be treated as dollars spent towards the recovery, even if it is a bulldozer and a guy with a hose.

So the neighborhood requested that the owners repair the house, or at the very least clean out the flooded contents. Almost 4 years later..the moldering contents still sit..because they never lifted one finger to clean out the house. Nor repair the roof which FEMA was unable to tarp because of the slate tiles.

It would seem that the damage to the roof allowed water to enter the house and eventually the damage created a weakness which led to the house collapse. Since the front door was never secured there also may have been some “help” in creating a situation where the house was encouraged to collapse.

There is more to come on this story…….

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use. With television reporter Lee Zurik she exposed widespread misuse of city recovery funds and led to guilty pleas in federal court. Her work attracted some of journalism's highest honors, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • debit

    these two houses could have been saved..there were structurally sound but were NEVER remidiated. Why wasn’t the owner ever fined????
    The damage that was done to the houses recently looks deliberate…

  • I had no idea you couldn’t tarp a slate roof. Why?

  • FEMA would not tarp te slate roofs because they are tricky. You can’t drive nails in them and they are very slippery to work on.

  • I had no idea. Thanks. This is a sad story.

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