Working class families get help towards home ownership

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - A ground breaking was held Thursday on a development to help working class families become homeowners. Pass Estates is an affordable market rate housing project under construction in Pass Christian. The Mississippi Home Corporation, Mississippi Development Authority, and a private developer have partnered to build 130 three and four bedroom homes.

Officials say people making between $32,000 and $41,000 a year will pay $550 and $650 a month in rent. After 15 years, families will get the chance to buy the homes for $50,000 without closing costs. The developer says the program is running successfully in cities across the state.

Clarence Chapman is the president of Chartre Consulting. The company worked on similar developments all over the state. Chapman said while turnover in the multifamily projects is 20 percent, single family is around five percent.

"It's really humbling to see how they appreciate this. They decorate the homes and take care of the property," Chapman said. "With the lease purchase program they're under, they consider that as theirs from day one and that's what we like to consider also."

The development company officials say they plan to open an office next month on the Cedar Avenue site where people can submit applications. They hope the first families will move in in September.

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