Seventy-five percent of residential structures were inundated with over 18 inches of water during the August 2016 flood. To date approximately 80 of the 3397 residential structures have been left untouched. Abandoned and blighted properties are a safety concern and can bring down neighborhood property values. The city is largely built out, so this land is valuable and could be put to productive use. This is a very high priority project for the community.
A process to determine why properties have been abandoned and how to encourage redevelopment is needed. Some properties may have repetitive flooding issues and would be best suited to become a park or open space. Others maybe be more effectively redeveloped as residential or mixed use space. Either way, funding mechanisms and administrative procedures will need to be identified.
The desired outcomes of this project are to develop a process to communicate with owners of abandoned properties and encourage them to return and remediate if possible, to provide education on options to improve properties, and develop administrative and financial mechanism for owners that do not want to return to sell their property. Properties flooded two or more times could be considered for reuse as a park or open space. Others maybe be more effectively redeveloped as elevated residential or mixed use space. Increase the stock of affordable housing where possible.
All neighborhoods will be free of blighted properties and will have additional parks, community gardens and affordable housing options. Establishing a process for redevelopment of blighted areas directly aids community recovery and will promote a stronger economy and community.
This project also supports:
- Ability to recover from future disaster events
- Hazard mitigation
- Social and economic resiliency
- Community development
Possible Funding Sources, Technical Assistance, and Partners:
- Hazard Mitigation (Livingston Parish)
- Housing nonprofit organizations
- Louisiana Housing Corporation
Estimated Cost: High ($1 million+)
Estimated Timeline: Long term (3+ years)
During the second community meeting, participants ranked this project at 9.44 out of 10 with respect to level of importance.