Public housing marks milestone

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - By Al Showers – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - As we approach the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hancock County is marking a milestone. The first public housing is now complete. Katrina damaged beyond repair more than 800 government housing units in Hancock County. Oak Haven is a $12.3 million development in Waveland, for senior citizens.

Hancock County residents Janet and Earl Ladner are getting their first look at what will soon be their new home.

"It's beautiful, beautiful! Plenty, plenty of room this is nice," Janet said.

The couple lived in public housing for 26 years before Katrina wiped it away.

Janet & Earl Ladner, "We lived in housing before, and this is all together different."

It's different because these units are loaded with amenities.

Director of the Bay-Waveland Housing Authority Karen Ladner said, "They can stay inside their home and do their laundry and not have to go to a laundry mat."

"In our kitchen, dishwashers, garbage disposals just all the amenities that anybody wants or needs in any home," the Ladners said. "The bathrooms are very large. We have a wonderful and beautiful community center here that we're going to have different functions for our elderly residents."

There are 80 units in Oak Haven. Tenants must be 50 years old or older to qualify for one.

"This was unlike other housing projects that had ever been put together. I'm not going to begin to try to explain the steps and the things that came together to make this happen," Waveland Mayor Tommy Longo said. "It was unbelievable."

"We were hoping we would live to see the day we get to come back," the Ladners said.

Tenants will start moving in later this month. A second public housing development in Hancock County is under construction in Bay St. Louis. The 100 units of Bay Pines should be complete later this year.

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