Denham Springs officials struggle to find location for low-income housing project
DENHAM SPRINGS -The only government housing development in Denham Springs sits gutted and empty after being destroyed in the 2016 flood. Now, four years later and with over $10 million to spend, officials are still unable to find a location to build housing for its low-income residents.
Over 100 residents have been forced out of their homes and 52 housing units remain gutted and empty.
"Every time I see tenants they are asking when they'll be able to come back," Housing Director Fred Banks said. "Money is not the issue, the issue is the re-zoning."
With nearly $11 million allocated, Banks selected the old Delta Concrete plant for the new housing location, but zoning commissioners said no.
Some locals are concerned with the low-income housing development being near their home.
The zoning commission rejecting the plan was not the only dead-end in the plan.
Banks says he can't find any other location inside the city limits of Denham Springs that will meet the guidelines of a government housing project.
"We looked high and low, four or five acres within the city and we had some help. At this point, we have not found it," Banks said.
Even with consultants and real estate agents looking, no suitable location has been found. The housing director is not giving up hope.
Banks says he will not withdraw his application to build at the old concrete plant, forcing the council to vote.
A date has not been set for the next public council meeting to be held in Denham Springs.