Residents asked to complete resilient housing plan survey

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2023

St. John the Baptist Parish’s Planning and Zoning Department is drafting a Resilient Housing Plan to build safer and more secure housing and is seeking public input through an online survey and upcoming outreach events.
“A resilient home is a home that can withstand or quickly recover from a hurricane,” said Parish President Jaclyn Hotard. “We want our Resilient Housing Plan to propose policies that could help us mitigate wind and flood damage to our housing stock in the future.”
St. John the Baptist Parish received a grant to develop the plan using the “Community Resilience Housing Guide.” The Guide was developed by Smart Home America and the Mississippi State University Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, with support from the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, through a US EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Cooperative Agreement. St. John is one of three communities piloting use of the housing guide to create the Resilient Housing Plan.
The Resilient Housing Plan has 5 main goals: 1) assessing the status of existing housing stock, 2) identifying high-risk areas where further housing construction should be avoided, 3) proposing strategies to reduce damage and loss through land use policies and improvements to construction practices, 4) reviewing and creating a more effective housing disaster recovery policy, and 5) more effectively applying for, receiving, and using funding for housing goals.
“We see this plan as part of a long-term effort by the parish to build resilience throughout the parish,” said Tara Lambeth, St. John Parish Planning and Zoning Director. “From the 2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, and other water and wastewater resiliency projects, the parish is committed to developing policies that will make our parish more resilient in the years to come.”
The public can participate in the process by taking an online survey accessible at https://arcg.is/yKH9S . Parish planning officials will also be present at the St. John Parish 4th of July Celebration on July 3rd at 6:00 p.m., manning tables at St. Peter Catholic Church at 1550 Highway 44 in Reserve and St. John the Baptist Catholic Church at 2349 Highway 18 in Edgard.
For further information, or to fill out a paper copy of the Resilient Housing Plan survey, call the Planning and Zoning Department at (985) 651-5565.