Get those lawn mowers ready, N'awlins!
The city of New Orleans' new plan to deal with its vacant lot problem is a "win-win" for residents and lawmakers alike.
Announced this week, the "Mow to Own" initiative is inviting homeowners adjacent to blighted lots to apply to take care of the empty spaces with the goal of purchasing them down the line.
Approved applicants must pay a $650 deposit towards purchasing the property. After one full year of maintaining the grass and keeping the property clean, the participant will receive a closing date and an additional $875 credit for taking care of the lot.
Upon completion of the Mow to Own program, the property will be clear of taxes and other fees owed to the city.
"I was proud of my role to pass the ordinance for this program as a City Council member, and to help get this program off the ground as mayor. This is another tool to fight blight and build transferable wealth for residents in their neighborhood," Mayor LaToya Cantrell told WGNO. "Further, this program is a win-win for the City of New Orleans because it helps remove eyesore properties that reduce residents' quality of life as well as reducing the resources the City needs to maintain blighted lots. This is a long time coming!"
Currently, there are more than 100 vacant properties up for grabs. Eligible properties were chosen based on their adjudication status, title history, size, and the absence of a structure or building on the lot. According to the program's website, additional properties may become eligible for the program in the future.
For more information and a list of eligible properties, visit NOLA.gov/code-enforcement.