The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is sending roughly $2.4 million to Lafayette for special housing developments. The cash will arrive in two allotments: one Community Development Block Grant totaling $1.6 million and one HOME program grant for nearly $800,000.
The CDBG Program allows state and local governments to create suitable living environments, provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities, specifically for low- and moderate-income families. The HOME program provides grants to state and local governments to help fund housing programs for low- to very low-income families that meet the community needs and priorities.
Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel says the money will fill a noticeable void in the community. “These funds help to develop, sustain and revitalize our communities, improve the quality of life for our citizens and provide home ownership opportunities, which is important for our citizens, our neighborhoods, and our community,” he says.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, who announced the grants Thursday, adds that the support from HUD will be a significant source of funding for the workforce housing initiatives in Lafayette. “Expanding home ownership and providing safe housing for hard-working Louisiana families will always be a priority,” she says, “because it is essential for positive community development.”
David Calhoun and Elizabeth “EB” Brooks are the first two employees of Lafayette Central Park Inc., the nonprofit charged with turning Lafayette Consolidated Government’s 100-acre Johnston Street Horse Farm property into a passive public park. Calhoun was named executive director, and Brooks is director of planning and design.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.