What’s next for Shreveport apartment complexes after utilities are cutoff?

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) – Utilities will be shut off for three apartment complexes in Shreveport on Friday, May 31.

Many residents are still looking for a home, with only around 100 people confirming they’ve found a place to go.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • Shreveport City Council plans to streamline how departments communicate regarding permits, property standards, etc.
  • Shreveport Fire Department plans to bring apartment arsonists to justice.
  • Demolition is planned for some buildings once funding is sorted out.

SHREVEPORT CITY COUNCIL

Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor says she began touring troubled complexes in the city in 2021 due to complaints. She says she met with some property owners who first said they would repair the issues, however, this commitment only lasted for a little over a year.

Taylor says the City hopes to streamline the standard operating procedure involving zoning, permits, property standards and occupancy certificates.

“If we have everyone on the same page, going out doing inspections, when somebody applies for a certificate of occupancy then we can narrow this scope down. What we want to make sure we enforce is probably inspections. At this point, the fire department is the only department that does yearly inspections. We need to streamline that.”

Taylor says she believes some state laws have favored landlords over tenants and that this could be one of the reasons why apartment conditions deteriorate so rapidly.

“I want tenants to understand that they do have rights, and they can find those rights on the Attorney General’s office. For me, coming in 2021 and looking and seeing the conditions of where we are, we’re gunna change that. We’re going to change that landscape of how you do business in Shreveport, Louisiana.”

Taylor says most of the tenants at these complexes paid their rent, and it was the landlord/owners who did not pay for utilities.

“The utility companies have been gracious enough to extend this as much as they could, but they have to operate as well.”

Taylor says those who need assistance can call the Providence House at (318) 221-7887.

Water department’s arrival at Villa Norte:

The water department arriving to cut off Villa Norte.
The water department arriving to cut off Villa Norte.(KSLA)
The water department arriving to cut off Villa Norte.
The water department arriving to cut off Villa Norte.(KSLA)

SHREVEPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT

In regards to the fires reportedly set at the Jolie, SFD Chief Clarence Reese says this type of behavior will not be tolerated and arrests will be made.

“Our officers have been already making plans for an increase in emergencies, especially those fires. We know what we signed up for, however, when it’s in the hands of an arsonist, which is a crime, we understand mistakes but when you are intentionally doing this and also injuring firefighters, that why I took a hard stance. Especially with our investigative team, we’re going to lock you up no matter how big or small it is, we want to lock you up,” said Reese.

DEMOLITION

Plans are reportedly in the works to demolish some of the buildings at Jolie, Pines and Villa Norte as early as June 2024.

Roughly 12 buildings are set to be demolished at this time. Director of Property Standards Terrance Green says this will cost around $450,000, however, it is unclear where the funding will come from.

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