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Fred Banks, director of the Denham Springs Housing Authority, stands in a gutted subsidized housing duplex used to house seniors, Friday, December 8, 2017, in Denham Springs, La.

A public housing complex in Denham Springs that was severely damaged by the August 2016 flood has received permission from a federal disaster agency to rebuild.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved the $10.6 million reconstruction of the Denham Springs Housing Authority units, according to the authority's director, Fred Banks. 

“The one thing I learned from all of this you never never never give up,” Banks said. "With prayer, all things are possible.”

The 52-unit, multi-family complex located off Range Avenue has been vacant since the disaster. Due to substantial damage, it cannot be repaired but rather must be demolished and elevated.

Banks expects the project will be completed within the next two years. Former residents will have a right to return to their apartments, if they wish. For now, those former residents are eligible for vouchers to live elsewhere.

“We are elated it's going to finally get off the ground. We’re looking forward to bringing this community back," Banks said.

Banks said FEMA is paying 90 percent of the cost; he is seeking the additional 10 percent cost-share through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The housing authority is one of just a few income-based apartment complexes in Livingston Parish. 

He said FEMA will also rebuild the administrative and maintenance buildings.


Follow Caroline Grueskin on Twitter, @cgrueskin.