Note – Just looking at the picture of the old school that will be transformed into apartments, it looks like a haven for mold growth. Homelessness and being exposed to unnatural levels of toxins from molds in an indoor environment are equally horrific. If they even test this place and it is not safe, I hope they don’t just ignore it and allow people to move in as was done when the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments did when they just ignored the mold inspection reports and STILL allow people to lease there. katy
By STEVEN WARD
Advocate staff writer
Oct 20, 2009
The Capital Area Alliance for the Homeless and a New Orleans developer have teamed to transform an old Baton Rouge school into an apartment building and to build a center that will provide housing and services for those searching for an affordable place to live.
Randy Nichols, executive director of the alliance, said the Scott Elementary School on North 19th Street, which is on the national Register of Historic Places, would become a building housing 16, 1-bedroom apartments and four efficiencies. A separate new building will also be built adjacent to the renovated school, he said.
The one-stop homeless services center will be a hybrid project with small apartment units on the first two floors and various services for those searching for affordable housing on the bottom two floors, Nichols said. Its location has not yet been finalized, he said.
The alliance has partnered with The Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, a nonprofit developer, on both projects as a partial way of addressing the need for more bed space for the homeless in East Baton Rouge Parish.
According to a 2009 alliance survey of homelessness in the parish, there were about 1,200 people living in shelters, temporary housing or on the street. That homeless snapshot came out of a survey conducted in a 24-hour period in January.
The apartment building and the one-stop services center would provide an additional 100 beds to the parish, Nichols said. Currently, there are about 1,200 beds in the emergency shelters, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing for people with disabilities, Nichols said.
The services at the one-stop center would include case management, showers, laundry facilities, meals, access to telephones, medical services mental health screenings and employment services such as job training, Nichols said.
Nichols said the two projects will cost about $8.5 million each and most of the money will come from federal housing grants, neighborhood stabilization program grants, federal home loan bank affordable hosing grants and low-income housing tax credits.
Kathy Laborde, president of the Gulf Coast Housing Partnership, said one of the problems with providing affordable housing for someone who needs to follow up with case management is getting the person to follow up with the case managers.
The positive aspect of the one-stop services center concept, Laborde said, is the people who live on the top two floors are already on site to follow up with the services they need to eventually better their circumstances.
“The housing is permanent, not temporary, but you want to help people out so they want to better themselves and hopefully they can make that next step,” Laborde said.
Note – Information on Riverstone Residential knowingly exposing tenants to extreme amounts of mold toxins at Toxic Mold Infested Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. katy