Mid-City Lake Charles has potential to redevelop mixed income housing

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 10:21 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Housing in Mid-City is still in need of redevelopment after the storms and plans are in the works to revive housing in Dixy Drive area.

Many areas in the city of Lake Charles are still waiting to bounce back after various storms, and this neighborhood has the potential to redevelop into mixed income housing.

“The Dixy Drive area is one of our largest development areas in the city. we have roughly 240 units. we have 65 of them occupied, mostly elderly that would not qualify for assistance after Hurricane Laura,” Ben Taylor with the Housing Authority said.

Many of the homes are vacant, but this project could help bring residents back to this neighborhood.

“The trouble is that you don‘t get an opportunity to do change unless you have something catastrophic happen,” Taylor said.

Taylor explained before the hurricanes they had a 95 percent occupancy in their properties, but now it’s closer to 20 percent.

“I was geared to getting people back into their units and then when we got to talking and brainstorming, you know we can do something better,” Taylor said.

That is how a partnership with Urban Strategies, Inc. (USI) among other organizations came to fruition.

“We started talking about how do we stabilize them [the residents]. So that’s our primary--we want to get them stable and thriving. That’s our mission, we want all children and families to be stable and thriving,” Eva Mosby, regional vice president of USI said.

Mosby told 7News Urban Strategies had multiple public meetings and discussions while forming a plan to transform mid city.

The organization is heading the way in applying for a grant of up to $40 million from HUD that would allow for up to 740 housing units in the area.

“This is a community that really needs support,” Mosby said. “We’re willing to roll up our sleeves and do the work and we know once we receive this award for those 8 years and continue to provide that service to the family so they can become stable and thriving.”

The deadline to apply for the grant is coming up in January and they will find out if it’s awarded in September of next year.