Developer enjoys success providing workforce housing - - The News for South Mississippi

Developer enjoys success providing workforce housing


By Steve Phillips – bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A new, affordable housing development in Gulfport is under construction. Developers hosted a ground breaking Tuesday on the first phase of a $40 million project.

Piper Woods is located on Orange Grove Road just east of Canal.  It will include 72 new homes intended for low to moderate income families. The development is subsidized with Katrina recovery money distributed through the Mississippi Development Authority.

Developer Janet Bryan has been building affordable housing for some 30 years.

"It is the result of all of us working together. A lot of different organizations performance," she said, while welcoming folks to the ground breaking ceremony.

Seventy two new homes will be built in phase one of this development. The houses are part of the Mississippi Development Authority's long term, workforce housing program. MDA has allocated $9 million for this project.

"Southern States Housing Group and MDA make a good team. And we're going to continue this project in a way that will make Gulfport proud. It will make the people that live around proud to have it here," said MDA's Lee Youngblood.

Along with being affordable, the new homes built here will be "green."  Scott Favre read a letter from development partner, Ira Russack of New York.

"Green buildings are a smart investment. By reducing operating costs, green design helps to maintain the affordability of our housing over the long term," said Favre.

The developer said the real satisfaction in building affordable homes comes in helping those families which might otherwise never experience the pride of home ownership.

"What we find, and continued to be amazed by, are the people who actually qualify for this program. They don't realize that they do. They have their jobs, they're able to maintain. They don't realize that there are programs out there  that help workforce families," said Bryan.

To qualify for the new homes, total household income must be less than 120 percent of the area median income. For example, a family of four can make up to $62,200 a year.  A two person household can make up to $49,750.

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