New housing complex in the works in North Lake Charles

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 9:17 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - The Lake Charles Housing Authority is in the early stages of a new townhome complex.

As a requirement by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, it’s a replacement project for another housing complex on St. Mary Drive that the Lake Charles Housing Authority (LCHA) plans to demolish. LCHA is also required to redevelop the same number of units, which is 66.

The $24 million project will be built to meet hurricane-proof standards.

“We are trying to fund it with tax credits, bond financing and various grants,” LCHA Director Ben Taylor said.

Taylor said the proposed five-acre site is near the corner of Moeling and Lincoln streets in Lake Charles. It must meet a long list of requirements, such as being clear of a flood zone, free of environmental issues and consideration of proximity to amenities and bus routes.

“It has to be near schools, medical facilities, pharmacies, grocery store,” Taylor said. “Those types of things.”

Twenty percent of units will house families who earn between 50 and 80 percent of the area median income, which is roughly $26,000 to $57,000. The remaining units target 30 to 80 percent of area median income, which is roughly $36,000 to $57,000, to be eligible.

Those interested will be added to a waitlist, which Taylor explains, LCHA is still seeing a demand of about 400 to 500 people.

“We are still operating off our list from prior storms, so we are going through that, updating the list,” Taylor said.

He said LCHA is currently waiting on insurance money to repair a majority of public housing.

The project is expected to start construction in November of this year and wrap up in 2025.