RECORD AMOUNT OF CASES ACCEPTED FOR FORECLOSURE!
It was noted at today’s meeting that Ms. Joyce Joseph is now the interim head of the Code Foreclosure process. Ms. Tammy Jackson will continue on as the Deputy Director of Code Enforcement Hearings. Ms. Brenda Breaux has taken a position with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority.
The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority put their available inventory online. Look for the orange PROPERTY SEARCH tab at:
The list of properties available at upcoming Sheriff Sales was also presented at today’s BlightStat meeting.
See the list in the link below:
The success of the city’s “LOVE YOUR BLOCK” program was noted at today’s BlightStat meeting.
Find more in the link below:
Ms. Mary Beth Romig is the new Director of ServeNOLA. Ms. Mary-Jo Webster, the previous Director, has agreed to help the New Orleans Recreation Department.
Click here to view today’s BlightSTAT presentation.
THERE WILL NOT BE A BLIGHTSTAT MEETING IN JULY. The City is moving from Accela to LAMA (Land Asset Management) and will need every bit of time to make sure the transition and training go smoothly. The move away from Accela is a long desired item of city employees and residents. No BlightSTAT meeting in July.
WHO: Key blight policy and code enforcement staff
8:00-9:30 AM CST
If you live next to a blighted building or an overgrown lot in New Orleans your perception of the fight against blight may not be positive.
But, when you consider that the City of New Orleans’ BlightStat program has received acclaim both nationally and internationally, that may mitigate your frustration a bit.
And, when you consider that Chicago and Philadelphia with tax bases and therefore resources exponentially larger than New Orleans have the same problems curbing blight that may help your mood as well. Chicago, Philadelphia and other cities both large and small are looking to the City of New Orleans in the fight against blight. The City of New Orleans’ perspicacity and initiatives have positioned our city as the clear leader in the fight against blight.
However, if your neighborhood is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina with blighted housing and overgrown lots in abundance, all those accolades are meaningless. You just want the problem to go away.
I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the people at the table in these BlightStat meetings are passionate and purposeful in their desire to have New Orleans continue to grow, prosper and be blight-free.
So, what’s the hold up then? Here’s what I have observed:
There does not appear to be any problem getting properties inspected. In fact, the inspectors have all been assigned to specific districts within the city and are even more efficient than before. Inspections are not the problem.
Cases are being adjudicated as fast as they come in but resets and guilty with conditions have slowed the process somewhat. The City is moving toward more straight out guilty judgments which is reasonable considering owners of blighted property have had 7 years to get their act together. The adjudication process is part of the problem because case management has struggled to keep up with the volume of material coming in from inspectors, and older inspections get stale (hence the reinspections).
We have a team of 2 highly competent, motivated and passionate lawyers that are dedicated to finding heirs to dead owners and previous owners that won’t pay taxes or do anything with their property. That takes time. You would be amazed at just how much time that takes. There are only 2 lawyers working on filing writs for the code lien foreclosure process (Mr. Tyler Gray & Mr. Miles Granderson). Ms. Breaux has a bunch of other responsibilities that do not involve actual writs, in addition to managing her team (like working on the constitutionality of the foreclosure process as a whole), and Ms.Tammie Jackson is Deputy Director for case managment.
THERE ARE ONLY 2, yes I said 2 lawyers working on filing writs for the code lien foreclosure process.
The goal of these 2 dedicated lawyers is to get 65 cases completely researched and ready for adjudication each month. I dare say a highly staffed private firm would have trouble doing the same considering the amount of research and fact checking that is required to produce a writ.
So, what’s the answer you ask? You, my friend are the answer. If you can help enter information or are a paralegal that can volunteer a few hours each week your service would go a long way toward moving our city forward. At 65 cases each month, we’ll all be dead and gone before the thousands of properties that need it get adjudicated.
So, what’s it going to be? Are you going to be that bitter resident that sits around and grumbles that nothing is happening with blight in your neighborhood? Or, are you going to be that person that gets off the sofa and does something about it? I suggest the latter option will make you a much happier citizen.
“But, that’s what I pay taxes for”, you say. That’s right. But, the problem is we have a city built for 600,000 people but only have a population of 343,000. Of that 343,000 only a comparatively small percentage pay property taxes. That is the real problem. There just isn’t enough money to make the things you want to happen… happen. I strongly urge you to consider helping the city help you. Call the city’s law department at 658-9800 to find out how you can help the city help you.
Enforcement of laws related to blighted properties will be more aggressive in 2012. The Mayor’s directive to have 10,000 blighted properties eradicated in three years remains on track.