HANO Looks To Develop Unused Lots

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The city's public housing agency is looking for partners to work with on redeveloping about 230 abandoned lots throughout the city.

         The Housing Authority of New Orleans issued a call Friday for interested developers to step forward. The agency had planned to sell off the vacant and abandoned lots to private entities. But new leadership at HANO has reversed course and wants to keep the properties, both to create more affordable housing and to turn a profit.

         The idea is to turn the properties into new homes and businesses. The lots being looked at for redevelopment are scattered across the city and range in size from 1,300 square feet to 158,000 square feet.

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         The agency says it is looking at a range of options — renovating properties, tearing down blighted ones, building new commercial spaces and erecting public housing on the abandoned lots. It says it wants the new developments to host residents of mixed incomes and be financed from mixed sources.

         The sites are different from the agency's main public housing properties, large unified areas that historically were public housing complexes. Since Hurricane Katrina, the agency has been redeveloping those areas into mixed-income neighborhoods.

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