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Housing development will bring facelift to blighted area of Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE - Hammers and nails are drowning out the silent sound of blight in one area of the city that's needed rehab for a while.

Partners Southeast, a local affordable housing company, in conjunction with the city of Baton Rouge is building affordable, single-family homes, duplexes, and lofts in the Old South Baton Rouge area.  More than fifty units are planned and construction is progressing along.

River South developments - 46 homes and duplexes - are scattered throughout the Old South Baton Rouge community.  Another project, Cypress Lofts, will have 19 units along Oklahoma Street.  The projects' total cost is about $11 million dollars.

Developers are using federal subsidies to facilitate the rebirth of the area.

"It starts at the federal level. The IRS issues federal low-income houses tax credits. Louisiana Housing Corporation has been a valuable partner in issuing us credits for our project," said J. Daniels, Chief Operating Officer of Partners Southeast.

Alvin Sterling, a Baton Rouge native, lives in Old South Baton Rouge and describes the new homes as a facelift for his neighborhood. 

"It'll probably strengthen security because anybody that's going to pay for something [new], they're going to want to be secure in their neighborhood and their homes," he said.  He expects more patrols, too, since more people might be moving into the area. 

"We want Old South Baton Rouge to be representative of the entire community which is why we have a mixed income. It'll have all the way from market rate units...to affordable and low-income units," Daniels said.

Projects are expected to be complected in December 2018 and January 2019.

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