Gulfport woman buys

By Jeff Lawson - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Like thousands of others, Teresa Gatpatan lost her home in Hurricane Katrina. She is a civil service employee at the Seabee base, and she eventually ended up in a FEMA trailer. About a year ago, she moved to a MEMA cottage in Gulfport.

"I was blessed because the day I called was the day I got one," Gatpatan said.

The cottage is small, but Gatpatan likes it a lot.

"It has been pretty good," Gatpatan said. "I have not had to pay rent."

When Gatpatan heard that if you qualified, the government would like MEMA cottages residents buy them. It didn't take long for her to decide that is exactly what she wanted to do, so she bought it Friday.

"I am the owner, the proud owner," Gatpatan said.

She is among the estimated 2,000 South Mississipians who have expressed an interest in buying their MEMA cottages.

"I always heard it was a great deal, and it was," she said.

She's not kidding, Gatpatan paid about $3,500 for a cottage the government told her cost them, more than 30 grand.

For Gatpatan, that was too good of a deal to ignore.

"And now, see, I can get my storage shed, and do things because it is mine," Gatpatan said.

If a person qualifies, they can purchase their MEMA cottage. The amount someone pays is based on their income.

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