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Jefferson Parish Wants to Improve its Housing Stock, Walkability to Attract Young People

Among the things impeding Jefferson Parish from ever being cool is its aging housing stock and its zero walkability, but officials from that parish are hoping to change that—or, at least make those things more tolerable with incentives and tax credits.

Jefferson Parish officials, including Councilwoman At-Large Cynthia Lee-Sheng, Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken and Parish President Mike Yenni, want to focus on improving the parish's housing stock to make the area more attractive to young families. They are also discussing ways to make the area more walkable and bikeable.

Some ideas floated include:
· Tax breaks or incentives on renovations, so owners can improve the post-World War II ranch-style, single-family houses that dominate the parish
· Revamping the Code Enforcement Department to streamline the process of getting renovation permits
· Redeveloping Jefferson Parish corridors to include bike paths and spruced-up streetscapes (Yenni brought up plans to add bike and walking paths to the corridor between Interstate 10 and the 17th Street Canal as one example)

Officials hope these improvements will lure more small businesses, which could improve the walkability of the neighborhoods. On the West Bank swath of Jefferson Parish, where there is more land, developments could take shape in the form of more mixed-use developments; on the denser East Bank, redevelopments are more likely.

Recently, Sheng helped spearhead another modern-minded Jefferson Parish project, an Old Metairie pocket park in line with the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan.

· Jefferson Parish's big fixer-upper: Revitalizing its housing stock [NOLA.com]
· All Jefferson Parish coverage [Curbed NOLA]