Community Development projects on hold

By Carolyn Roy - bio|email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport's Community Development programs remain at a standstill in the aftermath of Monday's arrests of four contractors and three city inspectors after a 6-month probe into work done under the federally-funded Limited Repair Program.

Because the three inspectors are facing criminal charges and are on paid leave, other Housing Revitalization projects have been also brought to a standstill.  The arrests of four contractors have also left them short-handed.

Housing Administrator Valerie Ervin has been taking all the calls coming on a line dedicated specifically for those concerned about the suspension of the revitalization programs.  "They want to know, 'where does that leave them?'"  Ervin has fielded more than three dozen calls from people wanting to know if the programs are shut down for good, and if not, whether they'll need to re-apply for the services when they resume.

"It is our intent to complete that work and to address any immediate emergencies that are out there, once we have inspectors in place, we can move along with that, but right now not having an inspector has really kind of put a cog in the wheel for us."

Community Development Bonnie Moore tells KSLA News12 they are working on the possibility of "borrowing" inspectors from another city department.  Right now, Moore says they are still trying to get a complete list put together of exactly how many projects are pending. Then, she says, they'll have to get out there and assess which ones need to be prioritized.

Ayone who was supposed to have repair work done through the office can call 673-7555 with questions and concerns. 

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