blightStatus Helps Residents Track Blighted PropertiesBy
The status of blighted properties within the code enforcement system can now be tracked through a new interactive online tool. blightStatus is a collaboration with the City of New Orleans and Code for America, a non-profit organization that helps cities make public information more accessible on the internet. You will want to sign up for an account, as noted with the red arrow in the image above.
blightStatus allows residents to:
- view the case history for any property going through the code enforcement process.
- create a “watchlist” to track the process of multiple properties.
- receive email alerts when a property on your “watchlist” moves forward in the blighted process.
- review blight citywide or down to the block level using interactive maps.
- learn more about the blight process through the “help center.”
In theory, you will be able to see ongoing status updates of properties moving through the blight process. blightStatus, which is in beta form, is a good start in giving the public access to information about blighted properties and is relatively intuitive. The city faces the challenge to keep information up-to-date in the “ghost” program that feeds data to blightStatus site, LAnd MAnagement (LAMA), the city property and permitting portal. LAMA was launched in July 2012 and while blightStatus gives partial access to the code enforcement side of the LAMA system, there still is no public interface to the permitting side of the system.
blightStatus has its limitations, though the developers of the site are open to suggestions for improvements. While you can search by address, street name, case status and month, the database is not searchable by neighborhood. If you have suggestions for changes or improvements, be sure to send them to the site administrators HERE.
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