Fox8 and The Lens took a look at the houses moved from the VA Footprint last evening (here and here).
The good news? A majority of the homes have had their roofs restored and the bulk of them are secured. Some of the moved houses, like Wally Thurman's former home, which is now located in Central City, are almost entirely complete.
The bad news? Approximately 28 of the properties, including 21 in Hoffman Triangle, have not had their roofs restored. And many of those, like the former home of Kevin Krause and Bobbi Rogers, are in generally poor condition.
As someone who advocated strongly for moving houses as an alternative to mass demolition in the VA Footprint, it's truly a shame to see the deplorable state of some of the houses. I did not push for moving houses after tearing their roofs off. Nor did I push for moving houses and then leaving them sit in a blighted state for months on end. Despite providing all kinds of input and suggestions on how to do things right, I've seen that the follow-thru on the part of the contracting parties involved just isn't cutting it.
The worst news, however? According to the piece in The Lens, the dozen or so houses set to be moved off the LSU Footprint WILL have their roofs removed. That's a really bad idea, something I've warned numerous involved parties against. It's going to lead to additional problems. It's also troubling to hear that neither the city nor BOH will release the destination lots; if they are still trying to secure lots, they should say just that - and they should ask for help.
I want the house moving effort to succeed, and I have done what I could to try to suggest better ways to go about moving in the LSU Footprint based on the lessons of the VA moves. But the continued delay in resolving issues surrounding the VA houses continues to threaten the legitimacy of the entire effort.