Thousands available for potential home buyers

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A home buyer's Assistance Program hopes to make more South Mississippians homeowners. Since 2001, the city of Biloxi has awarded nearly $1.5 million to help people buy homes.

"So far, just this year, we've closed on 11 sales," said community development director Jerry Creel.

Creel says each year, the city of Biloxi receives federal dollars which are specifically allocated for home buyer programs. And as the year winds down, there are still thousands more for potential homeowners.

"We have the funding to accommodate another 14 households, providing they meet the eligibility requirements," said Creel.

Qualified applicants could receive up to $30 thousand in grant monies but there are some stipulations. They include:

  • Must be a Biloxi resident for the last year
  • Must also be a first time home buyer or not have owned a home in the last three years
  • Must be income eligible to participate in the program
  • Must purchase a home in Biloxi
  • Must complete housing education classes
  • Must be pre-approved through a bank for mortgage financing
  • An approved person must reside in the house as their primary residence for 10 years

The Hope Six Community is one of many communities in Biloxi where people can take advantage of the home buyers program. Not only is it beneficial to the residents but it's helping businesses as churches as well.

Reverend John Guy of New Community Baptist Church says the program is bringing more responsible families to the Hope Six Community. It also means more members for the historic East Biloxi church.

"A couple of Sundays ago we had approximately 14 members that actually joined church on Sunday," said Rev. Guy.

The pastor credits the home buyer program for helping those who may not ordinarily be able to afford a home to live into the flourishing community.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.