In eastern New Orleans, individuals from 24 cities in six states bid for and bought 90 houses through the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority program. NORA requires each bidder to significantly restore properties within a year and agree to live there for three years. Jon Johnson,the City Councilman who represents an expanse of neighborhoods east of the Industrial Canal, noted that the results provide hope for the area. According to Johnson, the area is looking for “homeowners to come in, buy these properties, live in them, become residents in single-family homes,” and the recent NORA auction has showed that that goal is beginning to be realized. As 203 abandoned houses were put up for bidding, this is the first large-scale offering in eastern New Orleans. However, the limited number of sales (less than half of the houses were sold) in the event could have been caused by NORA’s lack of effective outreach strategies and restrictive rules such as that which restricts bidders to three offers and a single purchase.
NORA plans a second bid solicitation in eastern New Orleans with similar restrictions for homebuyers. No date has been set for this event.
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