ST. FRANCISVILLE — The West Feliciana Parish Council took no action Monday on a request from an affordable housing advocate to support his effort to seek federal housing funds.
George Turner distributed copies of state laws that he said allow parish governments to assist poor people in finding affordable housing, and he said he needed a letter of support from the council and parish president to apply for housing funds.
Council President John C. Thompson limited Turner’s presentation to three minutes, but Turner remained longer at the microphone to field questions from council members.
Members Kevin Dreher and Clay Pinson tried, with limited success, to get an answer on the monetary threshold for affordable housing.
Pinson said constituents often ask him to explain the term.
“It’s something that’s hard for laymen to get their arms around,” Pinson said.
Turner said the definition of affordable housing depends on the programs for which he applies, as well as the income of the person seeking to become a homeowner.
“What are you specifically asking for?” Thompson asked, and Turner replied, “A letter of support for affordable housing.”
Parish President Kenny Havard and Parish Attorney Dannie Garrett told the council at the end of Turner’s presentation that the laws outlined in Turner’s handouts apply to Louisiana police juries but not parish governments operating under home-rule charters, such as West Feliciana.
In another matter related to housing, the council set a 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14 public hearing on a proposed ordinance to amend the terms of a subdivision development moratorium the council approved in August.
The proposed amendment was not read into the record or discussed, but Havard said after the meeting that Councilman Melvin Young wants to lift the moratorium by the end of March.
The council approved the moratorium on developments, with two exceptions, to give the parish administration time to propose changes to the subdivision ordinances to address expected rapid growth in the parish.
Havard said the effort to identify needed improvements to development regulations is moving along in three or four areas.
“We’re not trying to redesign the wheel,” he said.