NEW ORLEANS – Today, DA Williams released a statement celebrating the passage of House Bill 307, authored by Representative Mandie Landry to enable greater enforcement and penalties for chronic blighting of properties and supporting a comprehensive public safety plan.

“Public safety must include crime prevention. Effective crime prevention must include proactively dealing with those root causes and breeders of crime. This bill provides a new tool to do exactly that,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “The successful passage of House Bill 307, addresses the public health nuisance of blighted properties and surrounding businesses becoming hubs of criminal activity. Research shows that physical and environmental characteristics of certain areas have great potential to contribute to criminal and violent behaviors. Blight reduction not only improves quality of life and marketability of our neighborhoods, but is a key crime reduction strategy that appropriately holds slum lords accountable and prevents wrongdoers from capitalizing on dilapidated infrastructure. In order to create lasting change in our community, we must deal with societal structural issues and have a holistic approach to dealing with violence.

We began working with local Director of Code Enforcement, Tom Mulligan, to discuss more proactive ways to disincentivize the trend of longstanding blight. Rep. Landry accepted and delivered upon that charge and acted aggressively to deal with blighted properties in neighborhoods across the state. We are grateful to Representative Landry, the Orleans Delegation and the Louisiana Legislature for working to address this issue and help deter crime in our communities.”

Act 85, which will take effect on August 1, 2023, notably provides for additional crimes that are elements of racketeering activity, and adds an additional tool to the local fight to remediate blight and go after the most notorious operators of problem locations. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office eagerly anticipates close collaboration with the NOPD, City Attorney’s Office and Division of Code Enforcement to begin identifying locations of interest.

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