Urban Fold

Considering a 9th Ward Land Trust

Residents in New Orleans' still-struggling 9th Ward are considering the creation of a land trust to help revitalize the neighborhood.

Residents would be able to own their homes, but not the land. But some locals argue that it doesn't make long-term sense for families to by homes but not the land.

"Under the trust, a person can purchase a home, but the land underneath the structure would be leased from the trust. The trust project is being piloted in the Lower 9th, but the plan is for similar community land trusts to be set up in other New Orleans neighborhoods with distressed properties.

But some longtime residents oppose the project, saying that the Lower 9th Ward has no need for anything other than traditional home ownership. And, the Holy Cross section of the community would seem to support this.

The tensions surrounding this debate have roots in past injustices. Even before flood waters swept through the community, Jones said, predatory lenders were snapping up properties through foreclosures. After the government-built flood protection system failed, some New Orleanians argued that the Lower 9th Ward shouldn't be repopulated at all."

Full Story: Own a Home, But Not the Land


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