Resettlement Plan

PHASE I: DATA GATHERING AND ENGAGEMENT (JUNE 2016 – NOVEMBER 2016)

Phase I included initial outreach to and engagement with current island residents, as well as a preliminary land use and infrastructure survey of the island. The team’s interactions with residents provided insight into residents’ priorities and revealed additional complexities to be addressed during subsequent phases. The team learned that residents’ values include privacy, seclusion, access to water, safety, flood protection, continued access to the island and maintaining and strengthening cultural identity. However, values vary widely from individual to individual—there is no single, homogeneous set of community priorities shared by all island residents. The program team continues to build relationships with island residents to ensure the diversity of values and varying priorities are well represented in the development of the new community. A final report on Phase I can be found here.

PHASE II: SITE SELECTION, ACQUISITION AND MASTER PLANNING (DECEMBER 2016 – FEBRUARY 2019)

Understanding and reflecting residents’ needs and visions for their future community is the project’s highest priority. As part of the Resettlement’s planning phase, the Resettlement team engaged in a series of public meetings and one-on-one conversations which have continued throughout the planning and implementation phases to ensure island residents have ongoing engagement with team members and the process as a whole.

  • December 2016 – June 2017: The state conducted an exhaustive site evaluation process throughout Terrebonne Parish. In May 2017, the state provided island residents an opportunity to visit potential sites for the new community.
  • July 2017 – December 2017: In July 2017, the Resettlement team hosted its third community meeting to discuss the pros and cons of the identified suitable tracts, to discuss general market and appraised values and to take a site preference survey of island residents. The state also issued an RFP for a master planner. A selection committee, which included representatives from the island community, chose a consultant team to develop a master plan. The planning team was introduced at the fourth community meeting in December 2017, and team members began to work with current and past island residents to solidify design plans and programming for the new community.
  • January 2018 – September 2018: A steering committee comprising island residents and various island community stakeholders—including representatives from the United Houma Nation and Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees—convened six times throughout the master planning process. The steering committee serves as an advisory board and liaison between the state and the island community. The state held three design workshops in which planners, architects and current and past residents explored multiple design options that best expressed the values and priorities of the community. A separate academic advisory committee provides guidance to the planning team. The academic advisory committee includes local and national scholars who understand the environment and cultures of the region, as well as the complexities of resettlement processes.
  • March 2018: The state placed a purchase option on the property a majority of residents selected during the site preference survey. The selected site, about 40 miles north of Isle de Jean Charles, is a higher, safer and more resilient location.

    The New Isle

    • 515 acres of rural land near Schriever in Terrebonne Parish
    • About 120 houses once fully developed
    • Site plans include commercial and retail spaces, a community center and walking trails
  • December 2018: Following completion of site due diligence, including federally required environmental reviews, the Louisiana Land Trust, on behalf of the state, purchased the selected property for development of the new community.

PHASE III: DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION (MARCH 2019 – 2021)

The state is currently implementing the new community master plan, which includes completing the next phase of the environmental review, finalizing site design work, acquiring permits, laying infrastructure, constructing housing, initiating business development activities, launching workforce training programs and helping residents move into the new community.

  • November 2019: Island residents name their new community “The New Isle.”
  • May 2020: Infrastructure construction begins.

PHASE IV: LIVING IN THE NEW COMMUNITY

Eligible families that participate in the Resettlement will enter into a forgivable mortgage on the property in The New Isle. One-fifth of the mortgage will be forgiven each year over the course of five years, during which time no payments are required, provided the resident maintains primary residency and the required insurance on the new property. After five years the resident will own the new property in full, provided these requirements have been met.