February 9, 2012
This was the 31st BlightStat meeting to which the public was invited.
The city continues to march toward its goal of the removal of 10,000 blighted properties within three years. It is estimated that over 40,000 blighted properties were in New Orleans in 2006.
Mr. Oliver Wise moderated the meeting.
Mr. Wise quipped about the change from bi-weekly to monthly meetings and that the report produced this month is the first data for 2012.
Ms. Williams will be changing departments and Mr. Kray will be replacing her.
Ms. Denise Ross introduced the Code for America team. Code for America representatives Ms. Alex Pandel, Mr. Amir Reavis-Bey, Mr. Eddie Tejeda, and Ms. Serena Wales produced a slide show.
Code for America worked in Boston on education last year. They made an easy to use application. 26 fellows are working with 8 cities.
The focus in New Orleans is blight, open data, and 311. The goal is to have active collaboration between city staff, neighborhood leaders, non-profits, community members and the tech community. The Code for America team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Kopplin thanked the Code for America team for their contribution to the city. Jeff Hebert indicated that the Code for America team is here due to problems found during the BlightStat meetings.
Mr. Square indicated that citizens are very happy that the Code for America team is here. Mr. Kopplin indicated that New Orleans would be a great place for them to stay permanently.
On Code for America’s website, the situation is described as follows:
“The City of New Orleans wants to partner with Code for America to support and further legitimize the invaluable role neighborhood stakeholders continue to play in community revitalization. By developing a light-weight application to allow community stakeholders to submit bulk information to the city about their neighborhood, view existing relevant city data, and receive status for each of the on-going issues in their neighborhood, they will be better able to advocate and support their neighborhoods.”
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE CITY’s NEW and IMPROVED BLIGHTSTAT PRESENTATION.
Major portions of the presentation have undergone a redesign to focus on quality and timeliness of the steps in the process
Ms. Basco continued the meeting. During January…
reinspections were high due to better property-owner compliance which requires reinspections.
Ms. Basco indicated posting of hearings should increase over time.
Mr. Lessinger indicated the “Inspections by Type and Result” slide better shows the inspection to to posting of hearing process. He thanked Mr. Kray for his work on producing the new format for the presentation.
Mr. Square indicated that some undercounting may be occurring.
Ms. Basco indicated that the majority of the complaints are over the 30 day mark.
Mr. Wise explained the “Timeliness of Inspections” slide. The goal is to have all inspections done within 30 days and to have no inspections that exceed the service level agreement.
Mr. Kopplin and Mr. Wise further discussed the parameters of the powerpoint slide. Mr. Kray clarified the details of the information.
Ms. Basco indicated the priority is on the older inspections while continuing to work incoming complaints.
Ms. Basco indicated that the city is “rockin” concerning the hearings process.
Mr. Kopplin indicated that performance is important but just as important is “Did we do it when we said we would do it?”
Ms. Tammie Jackson reviewed the “Hearings Outcomes” slide. She indicated that better communication has produced improved results.
Ms. Jackson further stated that “yes, 6 years later there are people who are still working through the Road Home process”.
Mr. Kopplin and Ms. Jackson discussed the details of the Road Home program with Ms. Illarmo clarifying how many are still working through the Road Home program. It ranges from 60 – 78 still working through the process.
A representative from the Road Home program asked for help from citizens locating people who have not used their grants from the Road Home program to refurbish their property.
Mr. Wise indicated “the reset – no inspection numbers are still troubling”. He inquired, “What’s going on?” Ms. Basco indicated she did have an answer today but would look into it.
Mr. Hebert said that is not an indication of poor performance of Ms. Basco’s department but that reinspections are a problem.
Mr. Lessinger indicated that Mr. Kray has produced a presentation which better indicates what is going on.
Mr. Kray does not have a way to pull out all of the reinspections from the current system. Mr. Wise said that should become an “action item”.
Mr. Wise asked about what is happening with resets. Ms. Illarmo indicated that some cases do go on for a long time. Ms. Illarmo went through the hearings process in response to a question from Mr. Kopplin.
A discussion ensued about how the new graphics are presented.
Mr. Kray made an analogy of meetings-clients vs. hearings.
Ms. Illarmo discussed resets and that Mr. Kray has produced a valuable tool to help fight blight. More and easier to access information is being produced.
Ms. Illarmo said there will be fewer hearings in February for a variety of reasons (Mardi Gras for one) but a “big push” will be on the agenda for March.
Mr. Carrere discussed demolitions. Significant process has been made particularly in New Orleans East.
Mr. Hebert indicated the townhouses in New Orleans East produce a multitude of issues. Mr. Hebert indicated “the state is committed”. He added that commercial properties have a lot of issues that need to be solved before the buildings can be demolished.
Mr. Kopplin indicated that the City is continuing to negotiate with FEMA. A good working relationship has been established.
The FEMA rep reviewed the “New Orleans FEMA Demolitions” slide. Mr. Kopplin inquired about properties denied by NCDC/HDLC. Those properties then go before the City Council for review.
Mr. Kopplin asked for a report on how many are HDLC denials and NCDC denials and how many have gone before the City Council.
NCDC demolition denials can’t be appealed. They just die for one year.
In just over a year 2,728 demolitons have been completed.
Mr. Keith Ferrouillet discussed the interim nuisance abatement program. Call 658-2526 but INAP can only cut a specific lot once. Citizens in the 9th Ward are doing the “maintenance cuts” once INAP cuts the tall grass on a particular lot.
Mr. Kopplin inquired about the current grass cutting contract which expires March 28th. A request for proposal will go out for a contract that will replace the current non-performing contractor.
Ms. Basco indicated only 1 FEMA trailer remains.
That trailer should be removed soon. Initially there were 18,000 FEMA trailers in the City of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Granderson indicated that the law department continues to work diligently on the lien foreclosure process. 57 of 144 files were approved for the lien foreclosure process during the past month.
138 properties set for sale. 62 went to auction but no one bid on them. They will be offered again at a future sheriff’s sale for a lower amount. 13 stopped due to “noticing issues”. All owners (heirs, entities, etc.) have to be notified once a property is scheduled to go to a sherrif’s sale.
There will be Sheriff Sales on February 16, February 23 and a large sale on March 6th. This info is updated at data.nola.gov
Mr. Hebert indicated LLT properties are being transferred to the City of New Orleans.
Mr. Lawlor of the Office of Community Development thanked Ms. Rosalind Peychaud for her assistance with the soft-second program.
Mr. Kopplin stated that citizens are demanding results. Mr. Kopplin wants to make sure the process from blighted property to property in commerce gets smoother with time.
Mr. Hebert indicated he and Mr. Lawlor are working together to continue the fight against blight.
The meeting was then opened up for questions from the audience of about 50 people. TV news crews were present at this meeting.
It is clear that 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.
BlightStat 32 will be held on March 8, 2012. The meetings are on the 8th floor of City Hall in the Homeland Security Conference Room.
You can review reports on all of the previous BlightStat Meetings in the links below:
Blight Sweep in 9th Ward: https://fsjna.org/2010/11/blighted-beginnings/
BLIGHTSTAT ONE: https://fsjna.org/2010/11/bi-weekly-blight-business/
BLIGHTSTAT THREE: https://fsjna.org/2010/12/what-gets-measured-gets-managed/
BLIGHTSTAT FOUR: https://fsjna.org/2010/12/blight-busting/
2010 Year End Update: https://fsjna.org/2010/12/year-end-update-from-the-landrieu-administration/
BLIGHTSTAT FIVE: https://fsjna.org/2011/01/the-5th-dimension-of-blight/
BLIGHTSTAT SIX: https://fsjna.org/2011/01/a-sixth-sense-for-blight/
BLIGHTSTAT SEVEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/02/the-7-heavens-of-blight/
BLIGHTSTAT EIGHT: https://fsjna.org/2011/02/8-by-ya-mommas/
BLIGHTSTAT NINE: https://fsjna.org/2011/03/blightstat-9/
BLIGHTSTAT TEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/03/blightstat-10/
BLIGHTSTAT ELEVEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/04/blightstat-11/
BLIGHTSTAT TWELVE: https://fsjna.org/2011/04/blightstat-12/
Mayor’s State of the City Address: https://fsjna.org/2011/04/one-city-that-shares-one-fate/
BLIGHTSTAT THIRTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/05/blightstat-13/
BLIGHTSTAT FOURTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/05/blightstat-14/
BLIGHTSTAT FIFTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/06/blightstat-15/
CITY GETS REPORT CARD: https://fsjna.org/2011/06/city-gets-report-card/
BLIGHTSTAT SIXTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/06/blightstat-16/
BLIGHTSTAT SEVENTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/06/blightstat-17/
BLIGHTSTAT EIGHTEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/07/blightstat-18
BLIGHTSTAT NINETEEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/07/blightstat-19/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY: https://fsjna.org/2011/08/blightstat-20/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-ONE: https://fsjna.org/2011/08/blightstat-turns-21/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-TWO: https://fsjna.org/2011/09/blightstat-22/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-THREE: https://fsjna.org/2011/09/blightstat-23/
FIGHT BLIGHT RIGHT: https://fsjna.org/2011/09/fight-blight-right/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-FOUR: https://fsjna.org/2011/10/blightstat-24/
CITIZENS PARTICIPATE: https://fsjna.org/2011/10/citizens-participate-in-new-orleans/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-FIVE: https://fsjna.org/2011/10/blightstat-25/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-SIX: https://fsjna.org/2011/11/blightstat-turns-one
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-SEVEN: https://fsjna.org/2011/11/27-meetings-about-blight/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-EIGHT: https://fsjna.org/2011/12/blightstat-28/
BLIGHTSTAT TWENTY-NINE: https://fsjna.org/2011/12/blightstat-moving-to-monthly-meetings/
BLIGHTSTAT THIRTY: https://fsjna.org/2012/01/armageddon-has-arrived-for-blighted-property-owners/