Imagine paying a mortgage on a brand new house that costs about the same as rent. A coast man says his housing development off 28th Street in Gulfport offers just that. Gulfport city officials say they're getting a lot of complaints from people who say it's too difficult to find quality housing at a price the average working family can afford.
Before deciding to buy their first home in Wrigleyville, Ashley and Justin Hallahan spent months checking out the local housing market.
" The older houses we looked at that had built like five years ago were like $10,000 more than what we spent here," said Ashley Hallahan. "They had already been lived in and had their damages."
From the appliances to the streets, everything in this Gulfport subdivision is new. The developer plans to build 65 houses with either three or four bedrooms. Of the 18 already built, more than half have been sold or are in closing.
"When you build affordable housing you're helping people to get out of a situation in apartments," said developer Terry Mobbs. "We have programs with 100 percent financing and no money down. When you can do something for the community, it always comes back to you."
The houses start at $103,000. Gulfport city officials says Wrigleyville is one of several developments underway right now that they hope will help ease the high demand for affordable housing.
"That creates a big dilemma in that we have people that work here in Gulfport," said city director of urban development George Carbo. "We want them to be able to have live here in Gulfport as well and so the need to close to their workplace without having to drive for miles is very powerful."
Developer Terry Mobbs says both the name of housing development and his commitment to the project stem from his Illinois roots.
"I grew up on the streets of Chicago and it was a very long period of time before my family were ever in a position to own a house."
Mobbs says he chose to site close off of 28th Street because of the proximity to the Seabee base and because so much of the area had not been developed. Along with the subdivision, he also owns about 30 individual lots throughout in the neighborhood.