Residents of Jones Manor must leave for repairs of government housing

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 7:50 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The hurricanes displaced many people in our community, but the process of getting home again seems hardest for those who are low income.

Residents in the St. Mary Drive area are being told they must leave their government housing for now.

It is good that the Housing authority has money to either repair or replace the projects on St. Mary Drive, but those who live there again face a move and uncertainty.

Clearly, the housing at what is called Jones Manor is substandard. Many of the government houses still have blue tarps and a letter residents received says their homes are uninhabitable due to mold. Residents were given 14 days to get out. They have about a week left.

“Like you rushing us out of here? I really don’t like that. We got to find u-hauls or trailers or trucks to move us, other people to help us move out,” Allen Celestine, a Manor resident said.

Officials said residents were told they’d have to leave eventually for repairs.

The uncertainty ahead is scary for residents who crave some stability in their lives.

“It’s my responsibility as a mother to make sure my children always have a roof over their head, and right now, I don’t know where that roof is going to be, the next roof. So right now, I’m just trying to figure out,” Latora Davis, who lives in Manor with her two children said.

Police Juror Mike Smith said they are doing all they can to make sure the people know their options.

“New housing opportunities, funding opportunities, disaster case management opportunities. So, we’re here to help make sure they are all taken care of,” Smith said.

Lake Charles Housing Authority Director Ben Taylor says it’s uncertain whether they will repair or tear down the homes. He says they were built on an old mill pond, so the ground is unstable, as seen by uneven, cracked roads.

A meeting was held between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. during which residents were to receive counseling about their various options and opportunities for assistance.

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