Church provides affordable housing for its flock

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - By Doug Walker – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It may look like any other small apartment complex, but it's not.  Crossroads Villas was built and is managed by officials with the Crossroads Church of the Nazarene.

Community Pastor Carl King knows that having an apartment complex on the campus is certainly different.

"It is unusual, but it's been a long vision of the Crossroads Church once it was established here," King said.

Jonathan Phillips lives here, and calls it a dream come true.

"There's a microcosm of people here now, so it's just been wonderful to be able to be in a place where's there is different generations," Phillips said.  "It's a wonderful place. It's well built and very affordable. It's just wonderful to have that close knit community."

A few apartments down, Marilyn Hydrick spends some quality time with her mother. Crossroads Villas won her over the first time she looked at the complex.

"I have not seen apartments this nice down here," Hydrick said.  "That's one of the things that sold me on the apartments, when I walked in and saw the wonderful kitchen we have.  It's big and has a lot of cabinets, it's got the granite countertops, it's got the side by side refrigerator."

Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of the affordable housing on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and Pastor King said that's where the idea for the complex was born.

"So these were constructed well, but they were constructed as quickly as we could to help meet that community need," King said.  "We knew that there were people in the community that actually needed a place to reside in a more long term basis after Katrina was over with."

The complex was built with the help of state grant money from the small rental assistance program.

There are a total of 20 units on church property.  Each has two bedrooms and two baths, and about 1100 square feet of space.  Rent is less than $700 a month.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.