Planned Biloxi Housing Development Overcomes Big Hurdle

Brenda Breaux envisions new houses designed to complement the neighborhoods of East Biloxi. Breaux is the project manager for the company that's overseeing the Hope VI project.

Breaux said "We're intending to develop a total of 388 units as part of the overall project. We have single-family homes, we have duplex units, and we have some four-plexes".

Those houses will go up on 34-acres of property off Bayview Avenue. The land used to be the Bayview and Bayou Auguste Public Housing sites.

Housing Board Director Delmar Robinson said "Our initial development plans in Phase I for Bayview-Bayou Auguste, which is a total of 239 units. Forty three of them are home ownership, that is for sale, and 196 will be rentals".

The project also involves fixing up 65-87 homes in the surrounding neighborhoods. It will even expand to another public housing site -- East End Homes. Several old, rundown buildings are currently being demolished to make room for a senior citizens complex.

Project leaders say the Hope VI development will do more than provide much-needed affordable housing. Breaux said "It's intended that this project will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of East Biloxi and will help to turn back a neighborhood that is in need of some repair". Robinson said "It's a community revitalization, not just building the homes".

The Biloxi City Council must still approve the Hope VI project. If it gets the green light, construction could begin as early as March 18.  The homes should be ready by the end of 2005.