April 8 – St. Bernard Parish President Craig Taffaro today ordered work stopped on the four mixed-income apartment complexes being built by Provident Realty Advisors in Chalmette because they don’t have proper parish permits.
It was the latest salvo in a political and legal tussle that has consumed the parish for more than a year.
“I have attempted to work within the judicial parameters, but St. Bernard Parish has continued to find itself without protective due process,” Taffaro said. “The permitting process by local and state law is clear, and my decision to issue a cease-and-desist is in line with the enforcement of that process.”
“A week ago, we filed for an emergency injunction, which was denied pending a hearing set for today … in state court. That hearing was cancelled due to a legal maneuver filed by Provident in furtherance of what I believe to be a strategic approach to delaying St. Bernard Parish’s right to be heard long enough that the construction of these developments reaches a point of no return.”
Taffaro’s ordinance came three days after the Parish Council repealed two ordinances that restrict mult-family and rental properties. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fair housing enforcement officials have said they would block federal money coming into the parish — and possibly to Louisiana as a whole — if the parish did not rescind the ordinances. HUD officials said the laws discriminate against African-Americans who are disproportionately in need of such housing in the New Orleans area.
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