For $250 a year, anyone can apply to lease a vacant lot and turn it into a community garden or green space, under NORA’s “Growing Green” program. There are about 2,500 unused and empty lots around the city.
The New Orleans Redevelopment Authority still holds many properties that owners ceded to government control through the Road Home program after Hurricane Katrina. Many of those were sold to neighbors who lived next door. Others were auctioned.
But some Road Home residential lots have been taken over by the business next door. A change in property use, from a residence to a business, is supposed to come with an official zoning process.