Construction is underway on a 192 unit apartment complex behind Walmart on the Evangeline Thruway.
This week, developers also announced plans to demolish The Less Pay Motel where low income housing could possibly be built.
Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux wants to make it clear he believes affordable housing is needed in Lafayette. He says he’s concerned with the number of low-income properties being built primarily on the Northside.
“We have flooded North Lafayette time and time again with low income developments and a lot of them have taken advantage of the low income tax credit programs,” Boudreaux said. “Until we change that, our retail market will not improve.”
Boudreaux wants to attract big retailers which he says will bring better jobs and more opportunities for residents. He says retailers look at median income among other factors before locating a store.
“I love mom and pop, I love local and that is primary, but we need the jobs and the costs that big box can offer that others cannot,” said Boudreaux.
He would also like to see more affordable single family developments in North Lafayette instead of apartments.
“I’m not saying turn it away,” Boudreaux said. “Bring it. Locate it in areas where those individuals can have access to good schools, good jobs. We need developers willing to provide housing at market rate and above market rate.”
Donald Fuselier disagrees with Boudreaux. He’s a former Housing Authority board member.
“I appreciate his attitude and I know what he’s saying,” said Fuselier. “I don’t think that there’s too much in one area. I think it needs to be where it can be.”
He believes low-income housing developers are building on the Northside for one reason.
“If you try to buy property on the other end of town, it’s just too high,” said Fuselier. “Your property on the northside is a little more reasonable to invest in.”