Gulfport Citizens In Uproar Over Public Housing Changes - - The News for South Mississippi

Gulfport Citizens In Uproar Over Public Housing Changes

It's the number one topic of conversation at L.C. Jones Homes in Gulfport.

Residents at L.C. Jones in Gulfport, W.M. Ladnier Homes in Gulfport and Charles Warner Homes in Pascagoula all received letters from the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority stating they may have to move out within the next few months.  

"Where are we going to live," asks resident Gloria Hands. "Nowhere."

Region 8 has asked the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to remove public funding and allow the properties to be redeveloped with private funds.  

"I've heard it from alot of people," says Resident Tenant Association Vice President Shirley Neighbors. "I'm not as hysterical as they are. I'm afraid."

Afraid says Neighbors, that she and her 5 adopted children won't be able to find any alternatives in this already critical post hurricane housing shortage.  

"The units in the private sector are not available for us now. They're just not there."

Neighbors say the Housing Authority had warned residents that new federal regulations require all public housing to now be self sustaining.  

"In other words the rents that are taken in must pay the lights, gas, water, and the maintenance upkeep, insurance, taxes."

Something the 3 units targeted for public redevelopment haven't done for years. Authority officials say alternative public housing outside of Gulfport and rental assistance will be made available for most of the residents. But Neighbors and others keep going back to that one question.  

"Where, where, where," says Neighbors. "That's all I can keep saying. Where."

by Don Culpepper

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