BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Two years ago, the Elm Grove Gardens apartment complex was in such bad shape it got the nickname ‘Nightmare on Elm Street.’ Families had to be relocated and all of the units were boarded up.
Now, the plan is to rebuild from scratch and in 18 months more than 80 families will be able to move back to a much safer and new apartment complex.
“There has not been a single-family dwelling in over 45 years in this community,” said Chauna Banks, District 2 East Baton Rouge Metro-Councilwoman.
The East Baton Rouge Housing Authority (EBRHA) is teaming up with the city and nonprofit Banyan to redevelop the property now named Capstone at Scotlandville.
The $23 million project will house 84 families.
Banyan is a nonprofit organization helping fund the project. President and CEO Rob Coach said the location promises opportunity.
“We have such great things. We got an elementary school right next door and a magnet middle school right down the street,” he said.
Banyan will also provide job training, GED programs and after-school programs for the residents.
A groundbreaking for the new complex took place on Thursday.
“It’s really about quality affordable housing. We have many families living in substandard housing, so this is a great opportunity for our families,” said EBRHA CEO J. Daniels.
Residents in the area say the housing crisis has gotten worse over the years. Some folks are leaving because of the rise in crime. Banks said this is exactly why action is needed now.
“There were people in the northern part of the parish that still haven’t gotten straight since the 2016 flood. We had nothing to offer them, so having this is a blessing,” said Banks.
Capstone at Scotlandville is set to open in the first quarter of 2023.
Information for Housing Choice voucher assistance is available here.