Louisiana Housing Alliance meets in Lake Charles - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana Housing Alliance meets in Lake Charles

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(Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC) (Source: Erica Bivens/KPLC)
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - About a third of Louisiana households pay rent. And that number is expected to increase with the industrial boom.

Louisiana Housing Alliance officials stopped by Lake Charles Tuesday, as part of their annual Listening Tour around the state.

While they say they expect temporary housing or rental demand in our region to increase, the supply may not be there.

According to the 2014 State Housing Profile, renters account for 34% of households in Louisiana. In Lake Charles, that equates to about 21,000 households.

But local LHA representative, Nicole Miller, expects that number to rise.

“There's going to be a need for temporary housing, as our temporary workers come in and start building. Long term, we really anticipate seeing a need for rental housing,” said Miller.

LHA Executive Director Marla Newman says that was a big part of the conversation last year.

“You have workers coming in, they're not going to be permanent workers, but they'll still need a good, decent place to live,” said Newman.

With that comes another need.

“There's still a tremendous need for more affordable, quality units in this area,” said Newman.

LHA officials say affordability is already an issue, but certainly not the only one.

Tuesday, local housing advocates created a new list of housing needs. What were some of their top concerns?

Tuesday's list outlines issues from funding and communication to a need for mixed income developments.

“That all of our developments are going to address the whole range of housing needs,” added Miller.

Newman says the purpose of these meetings is to understand local housing needs, and assist in local action planning, “as well as look at opportunities we can address in issues at the statewide policy level.”

As they continue their tour, Newman says they'll look for needs that resonate across the state.

And going forward, an LHA consultant will help each region with action planning.

Miller says they don't want to forget about the home ownership piece of the story, but think the need for rental housing will be a priority in our region.

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