Waveland celebrates new housing - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Waveland celebrates new housing

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By Elizabeth Vowell – email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Roy Griffith is a self proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, and was one of the first to move into Oak Haven which is the first affordable public housing to open in Hancock County in five years. 

Oak Haven is a community of 80 units geared towards senior citizens.  Griffith describes his unit as a typical bachelor pad, complete with decorations featuring his favorite hobby: fishing.  However, more importantly, it's home, and that can't be taken for granted.  Oak Haven provides affordable housing for those living on a fixed income. 

"I think it's a necessity for certain people. At one time, I would have not thought it was for me. With the freeze on the cost of living increases that the government put on us, it became a necessity for a lot of people," said Griffith.

Griffith is retired and lives on social security disability, so his budget is tight.  That's a common story among senior citizens. 

"Many of our elderly and disabled populations live on a fixed income, $600, $700 a month. To afford even the affordable units here in Hancock County, is almost impossibly when you add the other expenses associated with the cost of living," said Hancock County Resource Center President Rhonda Rhodes.

The Hancock Resource Center and the housing authority work to match vulnerable people with the housing they need.  They are also working to create a positive image for public and subsidized housing.

"The move towards public housing is less of stack people up in units together, to try and build a community with things like community centers and other services. So, I think we're moving to a better direction than just putting a lot of people in one place," said Rhodes.

Oak Haven creates that since of community and safety, and for its resident, that's precious at any price.

"It's an excellent place to live, an excellent staff to take care of us," said Griffith.

The units in Oak Haven are also built to withstand category five hurricane winds.  Governor Haley Barbour will be in Waveland Monday to officially dedicate the units.

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