Demolition a sign of hope at housing complex

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 21, 2012

The demolition of a burned out housing unit at the LaPlace Oaks public housing complex is a visible sign of the progress the troubled St. John Housing Authority has made since the appointment of Trina Henderson as director last year.

For years, the structure stood as reminder to all who lived or passed by there of the incompetence and inertness of the body.

For several years the only growth seen regarding the Housing Authority seemed to be in the bills it owed to the parish, the amount of uncollected rent and the infractions committed by its executive directors.

Now, the Housing Authority is paying down its past-due bills and collecting on some of the rent owed to it. It still has a long way to go before it will receive a sparkling audit, but the agency appears to be on the right track.

The demolition of the burned out fourplex along with some other uninhabitable units is not only a tangible sign of progress but serves as a symbolic representation of the rebirth of the agency.

The demolished buildings will make way for green space and playgrounds for the scores of children who live there. Now perhaps those children will grow up with a sense of hope that things can get better. And maybe the parish as a whole will start to see that progress can be made, even in the most seemingly hopeless of situations.