Fighting Poverty with Passion
Blight in New Orleans Neighborhoods: 2016
Since I’ve started my VISTA term with the Broadmoor Improvement Association, our staff has been dedicated to mapping blight in the neighborhood. We started out with volunteers spreading out block by block and documenting all the properties that appeared to match the criteria that is considered blighted. After gathering this data, my supervisor and I took a day out of our schedules to drive street by street to confirm their findings and narrowed down our list. What we found were close to just over 100 properties are still blighted in the neighborhood. Just a reminder for those who don’t know, blight is defined as any property that is uninhabitable, reduces property values, harms quality of life, and/or threatens public safety. In the scheme of things, Broadmoor’s blight of approximately 5 percent stands up better than the city’s average which falls around 25 percent.
However, blight is blight and the more properties we can bring back into commerce positively impacts the economic and community development of the neighborhood. Currently we are in the process of contacting the owners of these properties, keeping the residents engaged, and as a result seeing that more properties are redeveloping in 2016 since 2005. Though it is great that we have created this process, and more properties are turning around, this presents a difficulty for affordable housing opportunities as property values are rising all over the city. So we are working on strategies with various organizations and the city to provide affordable housing or encourage its development in Broadmoor.
Our mission is to drive individual and community growth through innovative programs, resources, space, services and advocacy for people throughout the fabric of Broadmoor. We want to make sure we provide this not only for new residents, but for those that have lived in this community for generations.