A statewide watchdog group says the vacant housing problem in Shreveport is among the worst in the country. Even worse than much larger cities like Detroit and Atlanta. “I think it’s critical that we do address this issue. It’s a very serious issue,” said Councilman Willie Bradford.
A couple of vacant houses and lots can be seen in his district in Allendale at the intersection of North Holzman and Ford. One woman who lived in a vacant lot on the corner reminisces on how vibrant the community once was. “All of my friends were around here,” she said. Councilman Bradford grew up in the neighborhood as well. “I’m really disappointed we were not able to sustain Allendale,” said Bradford.
The study by Louisiana Watchdog states Allendale and several others communities in Shreveport rank 44th in highest vacancy rates. It says 290 vacant homes were reported in the 71101 area code in the third quarter of 20-18.
Bradford feels a controversial inner-city connector proposed by the department of transportation could be the solution to the problem. It has a route going through Allendale. “I think that would give a boost to Allendale and Lakeside and help us generate resources and an economy that would be attracted to the area,” said Bradford. Bradford said I-49 could return Allendale to vibrancy. “Until we can come up with a plan to re-invest in these neighborhoods, we won’t get there.”