A program that lets some New Orleans homeowners buy blighted property in their neighborhoods will begin taking preliminary applications Monday.
The latest version of the Lot Next Door Program — Lot Next Door 3.0 — allows eligible buyers to purchase New Orleans Redevelopment Authority-owned property for at least fair market value.
Eligible buyers are those who own property that shares a common boundary with the NORA-owned blighted property and who meet other requirements.
Lot Next Door, created in 2007, is administered by NORA. The New Orleans City Council retooled the program in 2013, and it then survived a scheduled shutdown, reviving itself as Lot Next Door 3.0 the following year.
It is one of many agency and city strategies to dispose of thousands of blighted properties they own. Others include auctions, demolitions, sheriff’s sales and soft-second mortgage programs for first-time buyers.
To participate in this version of the program, an eligible property owner must notify NORA of his or her intention to purchase the adjoining property through an “expression of interest form” and provide certain documentation beginning Monday at 12:01 a.m.
To be eligible, owners hoping to buy adjacent NORA-owned lots must not own property that has any outstanding ad valorem taxes or municipal lien violations, and they cannot be in violation or default of any other NORA program.
They must comply with city building codes and health and safety ordinances on all properties they own within Orleans Parish. Their property must be occupied, and it must be in good standing with the city’s Office of Safety and Permits and the Office of Code Enforcement at the time of application and closing.
Expressions of interest will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. Completed forms do not guarantee purchase of the NORA property.
Further, properties acquired via the previous two versions of the Lot Next Door Program may not be used as a means of establishing adjacency to NORA-owned properties in this round, with the exception of properties in the Lower 9th Ward, according to program rules.
Would-be buyers may contact the Lot Next Door Program office at (504) 658-4422 for assistance in completing the forms.
They may view the program’s policies and procedures at redevelop.nola.gov/NORA_Lot_Next_Door_3.0_Policies_and_Procedures.pdf.