LaGrange Housing Authority discusses plans with city

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017

On Tuesday, the LaGrange Housing Authority updated the city council on plans to revitalize large sections of the community.

The first phase of the plan, which will include housing for seniors and renovations to the Lucy Morgan Homes is expected to break ground as early as January. The LHA has already obtained funding for those projects as well as a linear park near the Benjamin Harvey Hill Homes. These renovations and new developments are designed to take the place of current housing options, many of which were designed and built during the 1950s.

Zsa Zsa Heard, chief executive officer for the LaGrange Housing Authority, made it clear that no residents housed by the LaGrange Housing Authority will go without housing during the renovation process, though some may need to temporarily relocate with LHA’s assistance.

During this meeting, representatives from LHA were able to go more in depth on problems that have arisen due to the age of the buildings, but the overall visual improvement of the housing authority properties and the surrounding areas were also a major focus of the meeting.

“We have a different vision for how we want our whole corridor to look, our district to look,” said Chad Cooper, director of operations and resident services for the housing authority.

The plan for the area surrounding the housing authority shows new businesses like barber shops, daycares and doctor’s offices coming to the area. The housing authority hopes to attract these new businesses to Whitesville Road especially, which is expected to become even busier in the future after Great Wolf Lodge has opened its doors.

“The more businesses that we start getting into the area as far as grocery stores, different shops, it brings a huge possibility for us over here,” Cooper said.

At a previous meeting on the project, LaGrange Police Department Chief Lou Dekmar said improvements like the ones proposed by LHA are known to improve social and safety aspects of the communities. The concept of improving public safety in areas through aesthetic improvements and maintenance is often viewed as a means of discouraging crime.

The LaGrange City Council is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, Dec. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Avenue.