July marks one year since the American Institute of Architects presented their suggested revitalization plan to the L9W Community. Breaking this process down into 4 groups: Housing, Economic Development, Culture and Infrastructure, the last 12 months have seen incredible growth across each of these 4 areas. In May we saw the passing of the Economic Development District Statute establishing a board of commissioners in the L9 to research, plan and implement business and residential development--and receive special tax revenues to do it. The Infrastructure Table has made a big dent in the problem of large trucks illegally driving through our residential neighborhood, shaking the foundations of our homes and destroying our streets. And the Culture Table solidified a partnership with the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, Inc. in the restoration, revitalization and reopening of the former McDonough 19 Elementary School as New Orleans' first Civil Rights Museum, a Communiversity, and affordable senior housing. They look to break ground before the year's end.
(Pictured Above: Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun - members of the L9 Culture Table and Founders of L9 Center for the Arts. Read about them here: calhounmccormick.com/about. Photo taken by Adrienne Battistella)
The Housing Table
Each of you have played an integral role in enabling our Housing Director, MA Sheehan, to facilitate the Housing Table. We have been working with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority on the development of 10 homes near the Lawless/Martin Luther King High School. In June they held an open house in our local recreation center to present their plans and designs to the community. We cannot wait to welcome these 10 new families to the neighborhood!
We have also witnessed remarkable progress made on clearing the blight in the neighborhood as well. The Housing Table has partnered with us at the L9WHA and our Community Action Team to not only report lots needing to be cleared by the city but then hold them accountable to proceed in a timely manner and regularly maintain these properties.