Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stop the demolitions!

Within the last few weeks, many homeowners have been alerted to the fact that their homes have been added to a list- not a list anyone wants to be on, though. The list is of houses slated for demolition.

New Orleans is facing the extinction of it's unique, historic architecture with a recently published demolition list of nearly 2000 homes. With the architectural fabric already diminished by the failure of the federal levees, New Orleanians are shocked at the extensiveness of this list. For nearly two years residents and volunteers from around the country have been very busy trying to save our great city, and now a new threat materializes.
It seems that the city has started to amass 2 lists of houses slated for demolition, and that the houses are suppose to be an "..continuing threat to the public health, safety and welfare...", yet many have received city permits for repairing and in fact are currently inhabited!
Many homeowners are finding out about the list from well-meaning individual activists, rather than the city being proactive and door knocking to talk to these homeowners.
Add on to that the delay with the Road Home money, which is what many folks are waiting for to begin to work on their homes.

Many properties on this list are historic and/or architecturally significant structures. The iconic streetscape of New Orleans is being threatened. The demolition list includes hundreds of historic properties that suffered relatively little damage. It is unconscionable that these homes be demolished before the federal money to repair them has been received by home owners.

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