Collection by Miyoko Ohtake

Growing Home New Orleans

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Five years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans still houses to up to 70,000 vacant lots. Two years ago, however, the city put a plan into place to help residents revive their neighborhoods. The resulting Lot Next Door program, created by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority (NORA), offers homeowners the first right of refusal to purchase the vacant lots next to their own. What seals the deal for many is the opportunity to receive $10,000 off of the purchasing price if the buyer agrees to make basic landscape improvements--from building a fence to planting trees to installing rain gardens--through a subprogram known as Growing Home.

Run by Abigail Feldman, a landscape designer and founder of New Orleans-based firm Heavy Meadow, Growing Home works…
Growing Home participants are provided free demolition services from the Louisiana Land Trust if they so desire or they…
In Gentilly, longtime residents Arnold Brown and Betty Muller purchased the adjacent lot, built a new fence, and…
Just as the property costs drastically range from lot to lot (from $4,000 all the way up to $100,000 and more, Feldman…
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Since Growing Home launched two years ago, close to 600 people have enrolled in the program, Feldman says. Of those,…
Feldman describes Woziniak as a "community catalyst." In just under two months of closing on the lot next to her home,…
Growing Home has a green agenda as well. "It's woven into the program in a subtle way to help push people to a more…
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