GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Sanderson Village on 34th Street in Gulfport sits vacant. The only noise you hear is the beeping of the fire alarm. Soon a wrecking ball will demolish the housing complex that low income senior citizens used to call home.
"We started looking at the conditions, the sidewalks, stairways and amount of money to put into that development, site was just not feasible. So we started looking at other ways to put a better product there," said Demetria Simpson, President and CEO of The South Mississippi Housing and Development Corporation.
The apartments were refurbished after Hurricane Katrina to the way they were before the storm; The non profit did not have the funds to make improvements. Since then, several of the 80 units sat vacant because those living there had a hard time getting up and down the stairs.
"The money we spent on Sanderson Village was basically to sustain it, not long term, get it back livable again," Simpson said.
The new apartments will have an elevator so residents can live comfortably on the top or bottom floor. There will be better security and new amenities such as washers, dryers and ceiling fans.
There will also be a community room where residents can take advantage of wellness and nutrition programs or get transportation assistance.
"We are not just about building housing. We are about building communities," Simpson said. "A community where they have a place to live. They can call home, as well as the services that support them in the way they live."
Residents are expected to be able to move into Sanderson Village in early 2015.