Bogalusa Rebirth faces pushback from city

Published 2:36 pm Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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Bogalusa Rebirth is a company that purchases adjudicated properties inside of city limits, tears them down, and secures HUD funding to replace them with homes for working-class families. Their latest project is the construction of 8 homes in Richardsontown, a 3-year journey for which 1.9 million dollars was secured from HUD and Bogalusa Rebirth has invested $200,000 in upfront costs.

About a month ago, city officials showed up at one of the work sites and attempted to shut down construction. Currently, the lots are cleared and almost ready for concrete slabs to be poured, marking the first step in the construction process. The future owners of these homes have already been pre-approved through lenders, an arduous process where they receive financial counseling and work with an agent to purchase their first home. Most of the applicants are low-income working-class minority families.

At this point, the project has been permitted by Washington Parish and Bogalusa Rebirth has notice to proceed letters from the State of Louisiana. Bogalusa city officials wrote letters to the Parish Planning and Zoning Commission attempting to stop these permits, but their request was denied for lack of a good reason.

Construction Projects in Bogalusa are permitted through the Parish as the city does not have the personnel and infrastructure to do so.

On Monday, June 3, Wendy Dupont, Director of Bogalusa Rebirth, attempted to secure water and sewer taps from the city, but was denied this request without reason. City officials requested a meeting with her to discuss the details, and suggested that relevant attorneys be present to represent each party’s legal interests.

At this stage, contractors, homeowners, lenders, Bogalusa Rebirth, and the Parish are all on board to proceed with construction, but without water and sewerage on site, the projects can not begin.