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Attractive and Affordable Housing Rising Along the Mississippi Gulf Coast

By Rhonda Miller | Published 04 Dec 2011 07:15pm | comments
Emily Hines, 14, plays football with friends in the new Bay Pines community. Her mom, Theresa Hines, and sister, Sophie, enjoy family time on the front porch.

Since Hurricane Katrina wiped out thousands of homes on the Gulf Coast, the region has been struggling to develop affordable housing.  Now, MPB’s Rhonda Miller found attractive and affordable communities rising all along the Mississippi coast.

Developer Joe Cloyd is walking up the steps of an elevated two-story cottage under construction in Pass Christian.  

"Second living level here, as you can see, you’ve got a great, very clear view of the Gulf. In affordable housing developments, it doesn’t often happen that you can get a view like this," says Cloyd.

It’s one of 40 single-family homes in the Cottages at Second Street with rents ranging from $500 to $1,200 a month. The cottages can withstand hurricane force winds of 145-miles-an-hour. Cloyd says that makes the homes more affordable, because it lowers the cost of insurance.  

"They have equated to having lower insurance premiums than we anticipated, because the insurance market understood and can see the proof that the houses are built strong. Super foundation, there’s a lot of steel in these cottages," Cloyd says.

Cloyd’s company developed a similar project in Ocean Springs called the Cottages at Oak Park that opened in August.

In Bay Saint Louis, Mayor Les Fillingame says funding from HUD and the Mississippi Development Authority added the missing link for building attractive new communities for those who are elderly, disabled or just in difficult economic situations.  He says affordable housing is bringing people back to the community.

"It puts them more in a position to engage themselves back into being very positive, contributing factors in the community," says Fillilngame. "So it worked very well. It’s a win-win situation."

The mayor points to Bay Pines as out one of the city’s attractive new public housing communities. Fourteen-year-old Emily Hines moved to Bay Pines two months ago with her family.

"I like it better here. I’m starting fresh, meeting new people." (Did you change schools?) "I went to Picayune Junior High in Picayune and now I go to Bay Waveland Middle. I like it a lot. I have new friends there," she says.

In Waveland, the 80-unit Oak Haven development for seniors opened a year ago. It’s one of many communities rising along the Mississippi Gulf Coast meeting the goal of building back stronger and better. 






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