Optimizing Blight Strategies: Deploying limited resources in different neighborhood housing markets

In collaboration with The Urban Institute

Allison Plyer Elaine Ortiz Kathryn L.S. Pettit  (The Urban Institute)

Published: Nov 30, 2010

Public concern about blighted properties has swelled this year, and New Orleanians are rightfully concerned. Although blight has declined substantially since 2008 thanks to billions of federal housing dollars, New Orleans still has 43,755 blighted homes or empty lots. This report includes a review of economic and housing trends that are effecting blight, a broad set of principles to help guide various efforts to eliminate blight in New Orleans, and an analysis of neighborhood housing markets. Finally, this report provides recommendations for maximizing the potential of available resources for eliminating blight, including how neighborhood organizations can supplement public efforts.

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
    • Framing the issue
      • Blight is the direct result of population loss
  • Economic and housing trends
    • Job and income gains stalled
    • Housing sales slowed
    • Housing costs remain unaffordably high
    • Demand for subsidized housing likely still exists
    • Without new housing demand, fighting blight will be difficult
  • Neighborhood housing markets and blight policies
    • Trends in blight and vacancy
    • Two–pronged approach to attacking blight
    • Neighborhood housing markets
      • Sale prices and volumes
      • Reduction in blight and vacancy
    • Using market conditions to guide action
      • Low–demand markets
      • Mixed markets
      • High–priced markets
    • New Orleans’ largest opportunities for remediating and preventing blight
      • Louisiana Land Trust properties
      • Blighted properties with Road Home Option 1 grants
      • City–owned institutional properties and other government–owned properties
      • New multi–family developments
      • Complying with program rules and regulations
    • Neighborhood organizations are critical in the fight against blight
    • More data is needed
    • The bottom line for New Orleans
  • Appendices
    • Appendix I: Methodology and sources for the neighborhood housing market typology
    • Appendix II: Methodology and sources for the neighborhood blight trends typology
    • Appendix III: Neighborhood housing data


About Housing in the New Orleans Metro

The Housing in the New Orleans Metro series creates a common base of reliable information around housing and the recovery that is easy to use to support decision making at many levels as the New Orleans area moves from recovery to large–scale community development. Housing policy development must be informed by a solid understanding of neighborhood housing markets, housing affordability challenges, economic and demographic trends, and regional commuter patterns. The Housing in the New Orleans Metro annual report quantifies housing issues and raises promising policy options that can address current and future housing problems. In addition to the annual report, periodic Housing in the New Orleans Metro briefs highlight new data as they are acquired and analyzed to provide timely support to local, state, and federal decision–making.