Plans To Solve Gulfport's Affordable Housing Problem

Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr is speaking out on the city's affordable housing problem. The topic was just one of the issues addressed at Tuesday's special council meeting.

"You don't have to call the governor, you don't have to call anybody, we are going to handle it," says Warr.

Mayor Warr says his office will put an end to the affordable housing fight. For months, council members have been vocal on their stance when it comes to tax credit housing.

"For goodness sake, don't award the credits just because based on the facts that you're going to use them or loose them. That is not something I as a tax payer wants to see done if they are not needed. Send it back to Washington," says council woman Barbara Nalley.

Not everyone agrees.  Just recently, Mississippi Region Eight Housing Director Roy Necaise accused council woman Barbara Nalley of discrimination. In a news release, Necaise calls it the worse case of discrimination since the 1960s.

Nalley disputes the accusations. She says she is only trying to prevent saturation.

It's a comment that generated a standing ovation at Tuesday's special council meeting.

While the council woman has support from her community, it still doesn't ease some people's concerns with building tax credit developments in their neighborhood.

"Is anyone going to address the problems before they say, 'Let's continue building in the Orange Grove Area,' or are you just going to overbuild in Orange Grove and say, 'Whatever,'" asks Ann Stewart, a resident of Orange Grove.

Mayor Warr says that won't happen.

"Just because there are 1,000 or 3,000 approved up in Jackson, that has nothing to do with building on the ground in Gulfport. There is clearly a problem. There is a tremendous amount of talk that's been done about this problem, our intention is to create a solution," says Warr.

Mayor Brent Warr says he will call council members this week to ask for meetings to discuss solutions to the affordable housing problems.

Next week, the mayor's office will schedule a public meeting to explain the realities of what's going on with affordable housing and how they intend to handle it.