A new study shows there's a diminishing amount of blight in New Orleans. But the overall level is stubbornly high.
The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center says that, as of March, there are 8,000 fewer blighted homes and empty lots in the city compared to September 2010. But overall, 21 percent of residential areas are considered blighted.
The report says getting accurate information is still a chore, but estimates there are somewhere between 32,200 and 39,200 blighted homes and empty lots in the city. It says progress can be linked to city government focusing on the problem, backed by a strong economy and robust population growth, and recommends keeping code enforcement and sheriff’s sales going strong, and rewarding responsible property owners with expanded lots.
Another suggestion is the conversion of empty lots into rain gardens that can enhance neighborhoods and reduce flood risk.