Plant To Employ 150, Build Affordable Housing

The 40 acres of what used to be a lumber mill in Stone County's Bond community will, by the end of the year, be the center of production for modular homes. The homes will look like the one on display in D'Iberville.

Charles McKellar of Coastal Opportunity Group says, "One of the reasons we need homes so badly in Harrison County is there's no place for workers to live. So worker availability, we felt, would be better here at the plant site, much more desirable on the railroad."

The houses will go for $75,000-$125,000. They'll be built with structural insulated panels.

"It saves probably 75 percent on energy bills. It's five or six times stronger against hurricanes. Secondly, because it's modular, it can be lifted into place on a foundation whether that foundation's built up two feet or ten feet," McKellar says.

Finding workers to staff the plant won't be a problem.

Stone County Supervisors' President Duncan Hatten says, "We believe we have the work force for this industry, for this type industry. We have qualified people and, of course, we're glad to be helping people on the coast also."

The property is much bigger than what will be used at first, but McKellar envisions a greater need.

"Hopefully with the demand for housing on the coast, we can possibly double the size of this plant in two to three years."

McKellar says this plant offers technology that will catch on quick and be in big demand.

The modular homes will range in size from 800 to 1,300 square feet.