OUR VIEW – Apartments needed for Terrebonne

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Houma is one of the happiest places in America, and the area’s blooming economy is clearly the reason why.

But as success breeds success, and as word leaks out about how wonderful things are in this part of the woods, more and more people will want to set up shop locally and call the area home.

Right now, that’s a challenge that sits on Parish President Michel Claudet’s desk as Terrebonne Parish and its surrounding area aims to build more housing to keep up with the influx of workers who are coming into our area.

Some of that pressure was alleviated slightly this past week when work got underway on an 82-apartment complex for affordable living in Bayou Cane.

Expected to be completed in the spring/summer months of 2015, the complex will provide an influx of one- and two-bedroom apartments – each equipped with major appliances and everything else a small family or a worker might need to settle into this area and call Terrebonne home.

This project is a much-needed development for Terrebonne. Affordable, but quality real estate is hard to find in Terrebonne Parish, and rectifying that issue with more complexes like this one could go a long way in allowing our area to continue to grow now and into the future.

Because let’s face it – the oil field isn’t going to let up any time soon.

According to most projections, work in the Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to continue the ascent that it has enjoyed in recent years.

Already a multi-billion dollar industry, officials expect the next 20-25 years to be filled with even more success in the form of new projects and continued exploration. This, of course, means that businesses invested in the area will make billions more to add to their already deep reserves. It also means that our area is set to enjoy a continued run as one of the economic powers of both the South and the entire United States.

But if anything can derail the area’s peak point, it would be housing availability, and Claudet knows it.

In an interview with The Times in mid-September, the parish president said that creating projects to expand Houma’s housing opportunities was among the top concerns in parish government.

“We have more people coming into our area than we can possibly provide places for right now,” Claudet said. “That’s why we’re working hard to try and build housing, provide quality of life upgrades for these people and infrastructure and other important things so that we can make sure that we have the amenities to make people want to live and work in Terrebonne.”

This facility in Bayou Cane does that, so kudos to everyone involved for making it all come together.

Now, let’s plan to build another.

And then another.

And then another one yet.

So that we can keep up with the inevitable rush that has already started flooding into our area.

Happy today? Yes.

But unable to find a decent place to live at a good price? That happiness would surely go away.

Early voting is underway in Louisiana

Louisiana voters once had to provide a valid to excuse to complete a ballot early. And, historically, we can easily be distracted on Election Day. Weekend debacles have included LSU home football games, the opening of squirrel season or a festival-packed break.

So, state lawmakers, being the wise souls anxious to keep their seats, reconsidered the rules. Now voters can cast an early ballot, no questions asked.

With the state’s D.C. representation as well as a number of local races at stake, your voice should be heard.

“This election has garnered a lot of interest throughout the state and early voting is a great way to conveniently cast your ballot,” Secretary of State Tom Schedler. “The ballot is extremely long so voters should do their homework, especially reading the 14 constitutional amendments, before going to early vote. By casting your ballot early, you can vote on your own schedule when it’s most convenient. Don’t make excuses. Go vote!”