Skip Navigation Links
      RS 40:600.34     


§600.34. Blighted housing property list; creation, maintenance, and challenges thereto

            A. Creation and content. (1) A local governmental subdivision may adopt an ordinance directing a public officer to identify residential housing properties below minimum habitability standards for the purpose of establishing a blighted housing property list which may be a list of such properties throughout the local governmental subdivision or only within those parts of the local governmental subdivision as the governing body may designate by resolution.

            (2) The ordinance may direct the public officer to exclude from the inventory of blighted housing property any property for which the expense to the local governmental subdivision of determining the cost of environmental remediation required under state or federal law would be excessive in the judgment of the local governing body.

            (3) Each blighted housing property on the inventory so identified shall include the tax block and lot number, the name of the owner of record, if known, and the street address of the lot. No residential housing property in an area impacted by Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Rita which was occupied as of August 28, 2005, shall be included on the inventory as a blighted housing property if the owner is eligible for and receives assistance under the Road Home Housing Program.

            (4) Evidence of utility connections, including sewer, water, electric, or gas and billings to an occupant for the month of July or August 2005 shall be presumptive evidence that a residential housing property was occupied as of August 28, 2005.

            (5) Residential housing properties that, as of June 13, 2006, were adjudicated or declared blighted by the local governmental subdivision in accordance with all applicable laws may be added to the blighted housing property list without any additional notice to the owner or secured parties.

            B. Maintenance of blighted housing property list. (1) In those local governmental subdivisions in which an inventory has been conducted and blighted housing properties have been identified, the public officer shall establish and maintain a list of blighted housing properties, to be known as the "blighted housing property list".

            (2) The local governmental subdivision may add properties to the blighted housing property list at any time and may delete properties at any time when the public officer finds that the property no longer meets the definition of a blighted housing property. Any party in interest may request that a residential housing property below minimum habitability standards be included on the blighted housing property list by filing an affidavit with the public officer of a local governmental subdivision certifying the basis for such person being a party in interest and the conditions of the property that make the property unfit for human habitation, occupancy, or use.

            (3) Upon receipt of such an affidavit, the public officer or any qualified rehabilitation entity designated by the local governmental subdivision shall be empowered to inspect the property and make a determination as to whether the property should be declared a blighted housing property. A residential housing property that is below minimum habitability standards shall not be included on the blighted housing property list if rehabilitation is being performed by the owner in a timely manner, as evidenced by building permits issued and diligent pursuit of rehabilitation work authorized by those permits, or by the filing of a rehabilitation plan approved by the court.

            C. Rules and regulations prescribing risk guidelines. The state housing agency, in conjunction with the state departments of environmental quality and health, shall adopt rules and regulations prescribing guidelines and criteria for assessing and determining if a residential housing property is harmful to the health or welfare, including the economic welfare, of the residents of the local governmental subdivision wherein the residential housing property is located, or unfit for human habitation, occupancy, or use, and whether such property is undergoing rehabilitation in a timely manner within the meaning of Subsection B of this Section. The public officer shall apply such standards in conducting any inventory pursuant to this Section.

            D. Notice to owners with properties on the blighted housing properties list.

            (1) A public officer, within thirty days of the completion of the blighted housing property list, or any additions thereto, shall send a notice, by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail, to the owner of record of every property included on the list and shall cause the list, including periodic updates to the list, to be published in the official journal of the local governmental subdivision, which publication shall constitute public notice, and, to the extent that the local governmental subdivision maintains an informational web site, post the list on the local governmental subdivision's informational web site.

            (2) The published and mailed notices shall identify property determined to be blighted housing property setting forth the owner of record, if known, the tax lot and block number, and street address.

            (3) The public officer, in consultation with the tax collector, shall also send out a notice by regular mail to any mortgagee, servicing organization, or property tax processing organization that receives a duplicate copy of the tax bill. When the owner of record is not known for a particular property and cannot be ascertained by the exercise of reasonable diligence by the public officer, notice shall not be mailed but instead shall be posted on the property and published in the official journal of the local governmental subdivision.

            (4) The mailed notice shall include the factual basis for the public officer's finding that the property is blighted housing property, specifying the information relied upon in making such finding, and the owner's right and procedures to appeal the finding.

            E. Challenges to listing on blighted housing property list. (1) An owner or secured party may challenge the inclusion of his property on the blighted housing property list by appealing that determination to the hearing officer within sixty days of the owner's receipt of the certified notice.

            (2) In the case of a notice that is returned as undeliverable or an owner whose identity was not known to the public officer, the owner shall have ninety days from the date upon which notice was published or posted, whichever is later, to challenge the inclusion of a property on the blighted housing property list.

            (3) For good cause shown, the hearing officer shall accept a late filing of an appeal. Within thirty days of receipt of a request for an appeal of the findings, the hearing officer shall schedule a hearing of the matter at which the owner or any party in interest may present oral or written testimony that the property should not be included on the list.

            (4) The owner or any party in interest may submit documentation including but not limited to photographs, repair invoices, bills, and construction contracts to challenge the inclusion of the property on the list.

            (5) The hearing officer shall render a decision on the appeal within thirty days of the hearing and shall promptly, by certified mail, return receipt requested, notify the property owner of the decision and the reasons therefor.

            F. Appeal of blighted property designation. The property owner may challenge an adverse determination of an appeal with the hearing officer, by filing an appeal in the court in the parish in which the property is located. Such action shall be instituted within thirty days of the date of the notice of decision mailed by the hearing officer. The failure to institute an action of appeal on a timely basis shall constitute a jurisdictional bar to challenging the adverse determination, except that, for good cause shown, the court may extend the deadline for instituting the action.

            G. Removal of properties from blighted housing property list. The public officer shall promptly remove any property from the blighted housing property list that has been determined not to be a blighted housing property on appeal.

            Acts 2006, No. 355, §1, eff. June 13, 2006; Acts 2018, No. 206, §4.

If you experience any technical difficulties navigating this website, click here to contact the webmaster.
P.O. Box 94062 (900 North Third Street) Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70804-9062