Residents move into new affordable housing in Biloxi

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The Biloxi Housing Authority's extremely long waiting list is just a little bit shorter now that a new affordable housing development is welcoming new residents. Officials say there are 2,800 families on its waiting list for public housing and another 800 are seeking Section 8.

The Biloxi Housing Authority has overcome years of challenges to build Behavior Pass apartments. Officials said buying the land in West Biloxi took an extensive amount of time. Then when construction finally got underway, the first contractor walked off the job.

Back in December, the first new residents started moving in. Some people said before coming to live at Beauvoir Pass, they struggled to find housing that was both nice and within their budget.

Amber Battise said other places she looked at renting were out of her price range.

"The amount of rent. Five hundred dollars a month, plus you have to pay daycare and all that good stuff," Battise said.

Another resident, H. Allen, said he was forced to move from his previous home when illness put a strain on his finances.

"You save some money on the side, but you and I both know you get some saved and something else pops up. That's the way it works," Allen said.

With a backdrop of oak trees, the Biloxi Housing Authority set out to create an eye pleasing development that would blend well with the surrounding neighborhood. Officials said some features inside the one, two and three bedroom units are meant to be both esthetically pleasing and easy to maintain.

"The units have concrete flooring which are unique and very easy to maintain. Stained concrete. They look wonderful in my opinion," said Biloxi Housing Authority Director Bobby Hensley. "We won't be replacing it at all; We may have to restain it from time to time. But if someone has a water leak in their unit, we just go in and vacuum up the water. It doesn't ruin carpeting for us and have to replace carpeting."

Beauvoir Pass is helping lighten the load as the Biloxi Housing Authority works to provide comfortable affordable housing for those who need it.

"Once we put out a notice that we were taking applications for housing here, we only had 75 units. And within a very short time, we had 600 applicants for this one site," Hensley said. "So we had to cut it off because we didn't want to get people's hopes up and not be able to fulfill them."

Biloxi Housing Authorities said one reason they bought the Pass Road property was because of its elevation. The insurance cost is much less than its properties that are in flood zones.

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