Fighting Blight in New Orleans Neighborhoods

Lousiana’s

Broadmoor Improvement Association, Miller Urban Consulting and "New Zion" City Preservation Association, Inc. (NZCPA) teamed up to develop strategies for fighting blight in small communities.

On a typically steamy June Saturday in New Orleans, near a vacant site being transformed into neighborhood green space, community residents gathered to learn about two hot-off-the-shelf tools to help neighborhoods take on the blight fight in their own backyards.

The Blight Organizing Toolkit http://nolablighttoolkit.com provides how-to information for neighborhoods addressing blight, including topics like community mapping, property research and real estate market analysis. A Blight Working Group formed by Broadmoor Development Corporation, New Zion City Preservation Association (NZCPA) and Miller Urban Consulting developed the idea during Foundation for Louisiana’s 2013 Equity Caucus, part of our annual TOGETHER Initiative. In September 2013, they received a $27,000 Foundation for Louisiana grant to move the idea into action.

The Blight Resource Guide http://nolablightguide.com from Committee for a Better New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance works as a great companion piece to the Toolkit. It is a comprehensive compendium of resources available to individuals, neighborhood associations and community groups dealing with New Orleans blighted properties.

City Council member LaToya Cantrell joined NZCPA, Committee for a Better New Orleans, Land Trust for Louisiana, Miller Urban Consulting, Foundation for Louisiana and a host of neighborhood residents in the celebration. The day also celebrated the rebirth of formerly blighted properties into a new community green space for the people of the Zion City neighborhood, thanks to a partnership between NZCPA and the Land Trust for Louisiana.

“Every day at Foundation for Louisiana, we base our work in the belief that community members are the best source of ideas to transform their own neighborhoods,” says Foundation President and CEO Flozell Daniels, Jr. “This was a great celebration of seeing that idea in action.”

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