Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Williams, Courtney (2012). Fight Blight Right: Using Code Lien Foreclosure Auctions to Rehabilitate New Orleans' Deteriorating Housing Stock. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


This thesis explores how code lien foreclosure auctions can be an effective alternative to demolition in fighting urban blight, by providing excellent investment opportunities for individuals interested in rehabilitating blighted properties. By analyzing the system as it is being implemented in New Orleans under Mayor Mitch Landrieu, its major benefits and weaknesses are identified. Property data collection and analysis demonstrates that this is a market-driven strategy, whose implementation will work best in strong or strengthening real estate markets. Further, existing structures (as opposed to vacant lots) near historic commercial corridors are most likely to sell. Recommendations for future improvements are suggested based on identified weaknesses. This research contributes to a better understanding of a preservation-minded blight fighting strategy, which has the potential to become a major method of property disposition nationwide.


code lien foreclosure auction, new orleans, blight



Date Posted: 25 February 2014