Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interesting Note on House Moving Prospects in the LSU Footprint

In the past few days, the demolitions in the LSU Footprint, shortly after re-starting, stopped again.  Salvage continued, but only on a smaller scale than a few days earlier.

Interestingly, a number of independent sources have confirmed with me in the past week or so that the State of Louisiana actually requested the use of some funds the City of New Orleans had put aside for the LSU/VA move houses off the LSU Footprint (UMC Footprint).  That fact alone - that the State was willing to move houses off the site - was welcome news to me.  If the State and other developing parties are going to forge ahead with clearing the LSU Footprint in spite of everything, I would rather see even a minimal house moving effort as opposed to demolitions alone.

Multiple sources also noted independently that the City of New Orleans, apparently, did not approve the use of the funds to move houses.

If the pot of funds involved is the contingency fund the City set up, I can see why it might be reluctant - several lawsuits have already arisen from the VA Footprint alone, and it would be prudent to have some way of addressing potential liabilities.

It appears that discussions about the possible house moving effort in the LSU Footprint are ongoing.

For my part, it's heartening to hear that there is a chance of a better outcome in the LSU Footprint.  I encourage the State of Louisiana to continue to work with the City and Builders of Hope toward this end. 

As far as potential destination lots for any houses that would be moved, I've been doing my best to find private lot owners in New Orleans who are interested in having houses moved to their properties, and I share any that I do find with the proper people. 

I've also tried to convince developers involved in the "Big Four" and Iberville redevelopments to use moved LSU Footprint houses as part of their scattered off-site unit replacement requirements.  This is what Providence did when it accepted 30 moved VA Footprint houses as part of its redevelopment of Lafitte.  I learned recently that 10 of Providence's moved houses will actually "re-qualify" as contributing historic structures in the Mid-City National Register District in their new locations, which is great.  To date, 50 homes have been moved off the VA Hospital Footprint.

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