New Orleans mayor gets tough with urban blight

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s administration reached its first-term goal to demolish, rehabilitate or clear 10,000 of the city’s 44,000 blighted residential properties when the eradication program was launched in fall 2010.

Roughly a year into his second term, the count is up to 13,000 properties, officials say. “Hurricane Katrina was an awful event,” says Ryan Berni, a senior aide to Landrieu. “But it presented the opportunity for New Orleans to become this country’s laboratory and hub for innovation and change.

Mayor Landrieu has cleared up to 13,000 properties during his tenure.

The blight fight has aided a recent resurgence. New Orleans has recovered some 85 percent of its pre-Katrina population.

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