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Greinwich residents upset with potential buyout options

Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 1:25 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Saturday, community advocates held a workshop about the housing market’s current state for those living in the Greinwich Terrace neighborhood of Lake Charles. Some considered it helpful, while others are upset over the decision to uproot everything or continue to flood.

Before potential buyout options are discussed with Greinwich Terrace homeowners, community advocates hosted an information session regarding appraisals and mortgages to help them make better-informed decisions.

Within the first few minutes of the meeting, some homeowners raised questions of why leaders are focusing on buyouts rather than mitigation and relief for their neighborhood.

“We all know how much houses cost now,” Terrace homeowner Rita Ross said. “And we’re not happy. We’re not happy with the city. We’re not happy with Nic Hunter. We’re not happy with none of this, because every couple of months, water is coming inside the house.”

“Other people came here thinking this was some other reason for them to apply for a benefit,” meeting organizer Gayle Sledge said. “That’s not what this was for.”

Others say the workshop offered tools of the trade and advice.

“Some people don’t have the knowledge,” Terrace homeowner Cynthia Julian said. “Knowledge is power. And if you don’t have the knowledge, you are going to get in front of some people with a buyout, and you are going to get jacked.”

More still have questions before they make a decision about how much their homes in a flood-prone area are really worth during a housing shortage.

“Money that they planning to give us - will it buy a home that can compete with this area?” Terrace homeowner Paula Armelin said. “Houses are not 30 and 20 thousand. What kind of house could somebody buy?”

“It’s going to be a good value, but it’s going to be a compensating value factor too that exists. And that’s why you have to have collaborating sources other than just the state coming in but also HUD and other agencies,” Brian Beverly of Beverly Dream Realty and Appraisal said.

The state is funding a $30 million program to offer these voluntary buyouts for Greinwich Terrace. Those residents are looking forward for the meeting to start that process in the last week of June at the Civic Center.

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