Public Housing Gets A Facelift

Some public housing units in Gulfport are getting a facelift. The Region 8 Housing Authority is transforming Camelot Apartments on 28th Street, hoping to give the aging complex a better look and feel while giving residents a safer, nicer place to live.

If you drive down 28th street in Gulfport you may notice a lot of public housing units are gone.

Jesse Billups with the Region 8 Housing Authority says, "I think that anyone driving through is also going to be able to look at it and say this area looks a whole lot better, you don't hardly recognize it now."

Billups says those at the Region 8 Housing Authority want Camelot to look and feel like any other apartment complex.

"We wanted to, more or less, create an environment where our sites look like any other basic community."

A few weeks ago, the Housing Authority tore down six, 50-year-old buildings that were very close together.

"The two story buildings, being as old as they are, they were not compatible to really go in and do the kind of rehab that we wanted to do."

The remaining units will get some major revamping like new back porches, landscaping and conversion from gas to all electric.

Another big upgrade at Camelot are the washer/dryer hookups.

"No more clothes lines, thank god for that. I love that," resident Dorothy Blackmon says.

Blackmon also loves the thought of no more noisy, messy, window units.

"Oh it's going to be wonderful for me. I'm glad they're taking out the window units and putting central air in and central heat."

But the best part she says, is feeling safe where she lives.

"It was bad when all the buildings was up cause it was crowded and the police often come out and they be running behind the two story buildings. I'm so glad they tore it down now."

Torn down units are creating green space and hope for public housing residents and one South Mississippi neighborhood.