Blight

by Charlie London

BLIGHTSTAT MEETING (every 2 weeks)
WHO: Key blight policy and code enforcement staff

WHEN: Thursday, October 8, 2011
8:00-9:30 AM CST

WHERE: 8th Floor Homeland Security Conference room in City Hall

BlightStat Meetings
Nov 4, 2010 | Nov 18, 2010 | Dec 2, 2010 | Dec 16, 2010
| Jan 13, 2011 | Jan 27, 2011 | Feb 10, 2011 | Feb 24, 2011 |
Mar 10, 2011 |
March 29, 2011 | April 7, 2011 | April 21, 2011 | May 5, 2011 | May 19, 2011| | June 2, 2011 | June 16, 2011 | June 30, 2011 | July 14, 2011 | July 28, 2011 | August 11, 2011 | August 25, 2011 | September 8, 2011 | September 22, 2011


*OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION*
To report blighted property please call (504) 658-4300/4301 or email Jonathan Solis at jasolis@nola.gov

To report an abandoned car or illegal parking please call (504) 658-8290/8291 or email Zepporiah Edmonds at zedmonds@nola.gov

To report a street light outage please call (504) 658-8080

To report a pot hole please call (504) 658-8000 or email Nguyen Phan at ndphan@nola.gov

For other Quality of Life issues you may contact the Community Coordinator (CoCo) Officers below:

1st Police District at (504) 658-6010, or email Sgt. Kenny Temple at ktemple@nola.gov
2nd Police District at (504) 658-6020, or email Sgt. Ernie Joseph at ejoseph@nola.gov
6th Police District at (504) 658-6060, or email Sgt. Yolanda Jenkins at ymjenkins@nola.gov
8th Police District at (504) 658-6080, or email Sgt. Jonette Williams at jrwilliams@nola.gov.

For all other complaints call: (504) 658-4000 and follow the prompts. If you get unacceptable results after contacting the numbers from above please email info@fsjna.org with all the info and we’ll follow up.

OptimizingBlightStrategies (click here)
***CODE ENFORCEMENT INSPECTION FORM (click here)
***

Click here for the
CODE ENFORCEMENT HANDBOOK for RESIDENTS

Is it blighted or just a public nuisance? Click here to find out.
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This Faubourg St. John property at 1549 Verna is just one of the over 40,000 properties in New Orleans needing attention.

**************************************************
Article below from the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center
Blight has emerged as a top concern in New Orleans this year…and with good reason. Blight reduces property values, attracts crime, and increases fire risks. But New Orleans has the potential to significantly reduce blight over the next few years.

You see there are basically two ways to address blight: code enforcement and acquiring properties. Both are expensive, but acquiring properties is much more expensive. And New Orleans is in the amazing position of already having 14,000 blighted properties under NORA’s control or subject to a legal agreement with the State.

Cities like Cleveland and Detroit would love to be in this position. All we need to do is make sure that we “dispose” of these properties in the right away.

What does that mean? Well, that depends…It depends on the strength of each neighborhood’s housing market. So if you want to know how strong your neighborhood’s housing market is, and how to maximize blight reduction in your neighborhood, read the Greater New Orleans Community Data Center 2010 Housing Report:
http://www.gnocdc.org/OptimizingBlightStrategies/index.html
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Mayor Landrieu invited the public to attend the first bi-weekly meeting on November 4, 2010 where all of the departments that have anything to do with blight get together to discuss their progress and ways to improve.Click here to view The City of New Orleans’ Blight Strategy

Artists vs. Blight


YOU can help fight blight. Join the fight against blight.
More info: http://twangster.livejournal.com/910.html

Hear Charlie London talk about bandit signs in an interview on March 14, 2011 on WGSO AM 990
http://katrinafilm.com/1demodiva031411.mp3
ANY CONCERNED CITIZEN CAN LEGALLY REMOVE ILLEGAL BANDIT SIGNS ON UTILITY POLES, NEUTRAL GROUNDS, and CITY PROPERTY!

There are many avenues one can take to advertise legally.
Don’t let bandits advertise illegally on our avenues.

With a 4-5 ft piece of scrap pvc pipe you can reach most bandit signs.


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Got Graffiti? Call Operation Clean Sweep NOLA.
(504) 486-9694
Visit Operation Clean Sweep NOLA on the web:
http://OperationCleanSweepNOLA.com

You can also email Operation Clean Sweep NOLA at info@operationcleansweepnola.com to report graffiti, doodles, tags, vandalized traffic signs, spray painting or illegal murals.

To purchase graffiti removal products contact Chad Boutte at ERASER MAN Graffiti Removal Services at (504) 309-1113 or by email at MyEraserMan@gmail.com. You can also purchase “SAFE WIPES” at United Hardware at 735 Elysian Fields. Call United Hardware at (504) 949-4121. Use protective gloves when using SAFE WIPES to remove graffiti.

*************************************

Artwork and permission courtesy Diane Millsap

VACANT PROPERTIES CAMPAIGN

Mayor Landrieu’s Blight Task Force Recommendations


Do you have a “problem property” in your neighborhood? If so, you should follow the steps below to rid yourself of that blighted and derilict property:

1st) Contact the owner of the property via registered letter (with return receipt)

2nd) If you do not receive a reply within thirty days, then copy your registered letter receipt and the letter you sent to the owner and call 658-2299 (option 2) and ask Code Enforcement for their fax and exact mailing address. Send the copies via registered mail to Code Enforcement with a return receipt.

3rd) Only after the first two steps have been completed should you contact the councilperson for the area.

Why? Because the first step gives the owner notice that you want the problem fixed and a chance to respond and/or take action.

Following the steps above also shows you’ve done your “due diligence” and are willing to be fair in your quest to get the property fixed.

Please send a copy of any correspondence about any problem property to info@fsjna.org Mail hard copies to the Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association at P.O. Box 19101 New Orleans, LA 70179

VACANT LOTS = VIOLENCE


DOCUMENTATION AND DILIGENCE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE PROBLEM PROPERTIES GO AWAY!

Below are five steps you can do to help move the process along. If you are unable to do this, please contact info@fsjna.org and we’ll get it done!

1) Take picture of property.

2) Go to nolaassessor.com, agree to the terms, search by address, get tax bill number.

3) Go to cityofno.com, look for drop down tab of “pay taxes and tickets”, go to “Pay Real Estate Taxes”.

4) enter tax bill number you retrieved in step 2.

5) Put picture and all info in a PDF (or MS-WORD) and send to
info@fsjna.org
Thank you for helping to fight blight!

LIEN FORECLOSURE PROCESS

After the property has been adjudicated, if it is bad enough, daily fines accrue. The fines will accrue to $15,000 then discontinue. Why? So, that the fines don’t exceed the value of the blighted property or scare off a potential buyer should someone wish to purchase it from the owner.

Normally, taxes take precedence and must be paid first. The Lien Foreclosure Process rips the taxes away from the property and assigns them personally to the blighted property owner. This process became available largely due to the efforts of Councilperson Stacy Head via City Ordinance.

What things must be present in order for properties to be eligible for Lien Foreclosure?

1) There must not be a Homestead Exemption on the property.

2) The property must not have been to a tax sale in the last 3 years.

3) Must have blight judgement.

What items need to be in a file that is presented to the District Councilperson?

1) Certified copy of the judgement (32 dollars from the Notarial Archives)

2) Photos

3) Copy of current tax bill and info from assessor’s office.

So, what is the difference between a tax sale and a lien foreclosure sale?

A tax sale involves the sale of a property for taxes unpaid over the last 3 years. The tax sale purchaser has to wait 3 years before they can legally take ownership of the property (title is quieted). The tax debtor can pay the taxes at the last minute along with 1% per month interest and take the property back.

Blighted property that goes to a tax sale (sherrif’s sale) only has to wait 18 months to “quiet the title”. See Title 47 of tax code.

The lien foreclosure process is final. No waiting period. New owner can take possession immediately. There is a catch though. The neighbors, neighborhood association, or concerned citizens must pay the 32 dollar fee PER property for the certified judgement in order for the Lien Foreclosure process to move forward.

***

Residents have a fiduciary duty to themselves and their neighbors to object to anything that affects the value of the residents’ investment or quality of life in a residential area.

Let’s encourage commercial development in commercial areas. Tulane and Broad Avenues are ripe and ready for commercial development with many many opportunities for commercial growth available.

Organized commercial districts and knowing the zoning rules will be consistent, along with a business friendly climate from City officials, is what will move New Orleans forward.

Investors and major employers want consistency. Commercial development in neighborhoods is not what big investors and major corporations are looking for.

Tulane and Broad Avenues are wonderful commercial corridors. Let’s encourage commercial entities to invest there.

Everyone has a right to do what they will with their property provided that action does not deleteriously affect the value of surrounding property.

Effective zoning laws let everyone know that the rules of the game will be the same for everyone regardless of their wealth, status in the community, or political connections.

Thank you for all you do to move New Orleans forward,
Charlie London

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