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New Orleans Crowdsources Renewal
BlightStatus is a new tool meant to help address the enduring problem of blighted properties that has vexed residents and officials in New Orleans since before Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. According to Badger, "The searchable mapping tool reveals when a property was inspected and just what its problems were (shattered windows, broken gutters, missing roof tiles). Residents can then track open cases all the way through their court hearings, judgment, and resolution."
"Throughout the city, [Code for America fellows] Pandel and Tejeda say, people seemed to be relieved when BlightStatus was launched. The site, simple as its interface appears, conveys that city government is tracking residents' problems, right down to the peeling paint on a house next door. But even more crucially," says Badger, "the app also proposes a new kind of more productive communication between the two groups that moves past angry and frustrated citizens on one end, and a paralyzed city on the other."