Edward Jagnandan says 2001 was a busy year for the Biloxi Housing Authority. And he promises next year will be even busier.
This year saw the demolition of two aging complexes, the opening of a community center and the dedication of a computer learning lab.
The director of the housing authority reflected on this year's highlights.
The summer's demolition of the aging Bayou Auguste housing complex marked a significant milestone for the Biloxi Housing Authority. The 50-year-old barracks style housing will be replaced with modern townhouses.
"You're going to see more things happening in 2002. Because as soon as we get our development agreement approved by HUD, which I'm anticipating approval in the next couple of weeks, I'm ready to roll," Jagnandan said.
Demolition is complete at the Bayou Auguste and Bayview Homes site. The cleared land will soon see road construction, utility work and the beginning of a $55 million project that will include 200 new single family houses and duplexes.
"In addition, we're going to be buying up properties around the Bayou and Bayview areas. 87 homes to be exact. And rebuild those. So it's going to transform the entire area into something Biloxians have never seen," Jagnandan promises.
This year's opening of a new community center at Oakwood Village and dedication of a new computer center at Sun Coast Villas are two projects that brought an improved quality of life to public housing residents.
Shirley Wallace directs the computer center. Dozens of children and adults use the computer center every day.
"From adults with resume building tips to after school homework and tutoring our children. And so we're trying to reach out within Biloxi housing and just do positive, wonderful things," said Wallace.
The man who heads the housing authority says things like new computers and playground equipment create a desired pride.
"Residents are very proud of where they're living. They're proud that Biloxi Housing Authority is a safe place to live. They're proud that we take care of our properties. They're proud that we work with them hand in hand to make sure things happen in the Biloxi Housing Authority," Jagnandan said.