St. Charles Herald-Guide

St. John flood victims look to St. Charles for rental homes

Kyle Barnett - September 7, 2012

After 7,000 homes were flooded in St. John Parish due to storm surge waters from Hurricane Isaac, realtors in St. Charles Parish have been fielding calls from displaced homeowners seeking rentals.

Regina Allemand, president of the Saints Board of Realtors and realtor at Gardner Realtors, said she already received numerous calls over the weekend, but expects more throughout the week.

"Iíve had a few calls already, but I think starting this week weíll see more," Allemand said. "I think people are still in shock after losing their house."

Allemand said unfortunately there are not many rentals available in the parish right now.

"We didnít really have a whole lot beforehand," Allemand said. "Right before school starts our rental market gets pretty much depleted."

Carole Schonberg, with the Latter & Blum office in Boutte, said her rental inventory is down as well.

"They scoop up what is available around the beginning of August before school," Schonberg said.

She said she has also received a few phone calls from St. John residents whose homes were flooded.

"It is really more curiosity of what might be available," Schonberg said.

Schonberg said she anticipates more calls later on after St. John residents have run out of other options.

"When theyíve exhausted the friends and neighbors and family part of it where they donít have to spend any money I suspect they will start looking around here," Schonberg said.

Schonberg said with as few rentals that are being offered by realtors, St. John residents who are interested in renting in St. Charles may want to look into other avenues for renting.

"We donít have a lot of stuff. There are a couple of complexes that would probably be someoneís best bet," Schonberg said. "A lot of people are able to do alright on Craigslist."