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Insurance money for public housing provided to LC Housing Authority

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 6:07 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Those whose government subsidized housing closed due to hurricane damage were given vouchers to go find housing wherever they could. And they are scattered all over the state and even the country.

But the wheels are starting to turn to get more of that housing back in the Lake area. The Lake Charles Housing Authority has received insurance money for three developments.

1. Willow Manor, which is Section 8-11 housing for those physically disabled, a development in need of extensive repairs.

2. Woodway Park, where they are to replace roofs on 50 units. It’s located off Legendre street off McNeese Street.

3. Greinwich Village, where 114 single family houses are to get new roofs.

Lake Charles Housing Authority Director Ben Taylor admits such work doesn’t happen overnight, especially with four disasters in row. But contracts will soon be finalized.

“At each disaster, we file claims, so the adjusters have to come out,” he said.

“When you let a construction contract you can’t just say, ‘Oh, fix it,’” explained Taylor, who went on to describe the numerous details in getting a project through the process of letting a bid.

Besides repairs, he knows there are supply chain issues ahead. Take refrigerators for example.

“If we could order all the refrigerators at one time and had them ready to go, we would need 350. You can’t move somebody in without a refrigerator,” said Taylor.

But progress is coming. Taylor says the sooner they get housing ready, the likelier people who have left will return.

“There’s one in Alaska, we’ve got them in California, the Denver area, all through Texas. Atlanta, we’ve got them in Alabama, we’ve got them in Ohio. We’ve got them all over,” he said.

Taylor says those who want to return here should stay in touch with the Housing Authority.

Taylor admits it will likely be two years before all their housing programs are up and running again. And he predicts the Lake Area will continue to experience an affordable housing crisis for at least another year.

If there’s a bright side, it’s that as they repair and rebuild, they improve housing by bringing it up to code.

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