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GETTING ANSWERS: Blighted properties in New Iberia

Posted: 8:12 PM, May 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-08 07:19:10-04

Residents emailed us pictures of an abandoned house on Emery Lewis Avenue, wanting to know, when is the city going to demolish the house.

“This is really, a big…It’s heartbreaking. Yeah, it’s heartbreaking.” said longtime resident Joseph Rochelle and his sister Rose. The siblings grew up across the street from a two-story house which is now empty.

Rose still lives next to the property. They say the property is an eyesore, but they also say it’s a threat. She says a squatter has been using the home to sell drugs and sex along with other crimes.

“The people who live here had valuable items stolen from them, and they know it happened to be this lady,” Joseph Rochelle said.

The house is on the city’s demolition list but it doesn’t say how long it will take for the demolition to begin.

“The process could be 6-8 months to a year,” Councilman Marlon Lewis said.

According to Lewis, the city needs to get in touch with the property’s owners before anything can happen. A sign has been in the front yard for over a few months.

“It’s in the process. The sign doesn’t say how long the process is. The sign says this property is unlivable and will be demolished at some point.” Lewis explained.

The city is working with its lawyers to begin the demolition process.

“Right now it’s in the legal council. We’re trying to track down the owners of the property. We have to notify them before we do anything to the property,” Lewis said.

Lewis says within his district he has at least 13 properties they are working to remove. On Hopkins street at the corner of Lombard, is an empty lot. Lewis said that too was a blighted property which took several months to remove.