DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (AP) — A Louisiana city has created a housing board that will address the issue of properties that are still dilapidated three years after a flood destroyed most of the area.
The 2016 flood devastated much of the Livingston Parish area. Officials in Denham Springs said they’ve been lenient and patient with residents whose homes were damaged by the flood.
However, Mayor Gerard Landry told The Advocate that now is the time to focus on the community and neighbors who are living near potentially hazardous homes.
“We’ve kind of had a hands-off approach for the last few years out of compassion, but at some point in time I have to have more compassion for the people next door,” Landry said.
The Housing Appeals Board, made up of city officials, will meet monthly to discuss the 70 homes in the city that are vacant and deteriorating.
Building inspector Rick Foster said the city wants residents to maintain them and adhere to code.
The board is off to a slow start, Landry said, because officials are having trouble tracking down the homeowners. But Landry said he feels that the city is on the path now.
“I really want (the board) to be a dialogue on what can we do,” Landry said. “These houses are just not safe and we have to do what we have to do.”
Officials will meet on the second Monday of each month.