Addressing local living spaces
The city of Shreveport is working to expand housing options around downtown with a collection of mixedincome, mixed-use developments designated as Choice Neighborhoods.
The Bayou Grande project will include 312 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, along with 5,000 square feet of retail space within walking distance of downtown at the corner of Caddo and Common streets. The development will include mixed-income, workforce housing at market rates.
“It’s a wonderful example of what a public-private partnership can support with locally driven strategies,” said Bonnie Moore, director of the Shreveport Department of Community Development. “It’s an excellent approach to neighborhood transformation that hasn’t been done in this community before.”
Bobby Collins, chief executive officer of the Shreveport Housing Authority, said the development is part of a $24.2 million Implementation Grant awarded last year. Out of the $24.2 million grant, $15,412,142 will go toward housing. The housing will be constructed by the Housing Authority and its development partner, ITEX. Each phase of housing will be owned by a single-purpose entity, of which the Housing Authority will be the general partner.
Collins said the recent government shutdown delayed the process for a while, but he is optimistic that the plans will be approved by HUD in the next 60 to 90 days and that ground will be broken on the Bayou Grande project in 2019.
The Choice Neighborhoods program is a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development initiative. According to HUD’s website, the program “leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing through a comprehensive approach to neighborhood transformation.”