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Secretary Shaun Donovan
 
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HUD Secretary's Awards > Community Foundations Awards > Award for Community Foundations 2012 HUD Region 6

 
Greater New Orleans Foundation

Created:
May 2010

Municipal agency partners:
City of New Orleans

State agency partner:
New Orleans Redevelopment Authority

Nongovernmental partners:
Center for Community Progress

 

Greater New Orleans Foundation

The mission of the Greater New Orleans Foundation is to create a thriving community for all.
www.gnof.org

Fighting Blight with Strategies that Work

Nearly five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans had more than 43,755 vacant, abandoned, and blighted properties and no effective strategy for dealing with them. In 2010, a partnership was formed between the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF), the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), and the Center for Community Progress (CCP) to turn blighted properties into assets to promote community development, economic growth, and neighborhood stability. To assist with this ambitious goal, GNOF made a two-year, $500,000 grant and partnered with CCP to create a comprehensive strategy.

In the first 15 months of the partnership, the city reduced blight by 3,615 properties. City departments were consolidated, restructured and held to a high standard of public accountability. A streamlined data-management system was established. The city took the innovative approach of using tax lien foreclosure sales as the primary vehicle for turning over problem properties. The code enforcement process now takes three to six months, as opposed to 18.

Through this partnership, New Orleans is developing a national model for dealing with blight. Because code enforcement has been so successful, cities across Louisiana are teaming up to replicate the success of New Orleans at the state level. Cities across the country, from Detroit to Memphis to Philadelphia, have also turned to New Orleans for guidance on effectively addressing blight.

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