Mayor Offers Solutions For Awarding Housing Tax Credits

Mayor Brent Warr says solutions are now on the table to help bring affordable housing to Gulfport. Warr says the city has agreed to award tax credits to help build up 974 affordable housing units at eight different complexes.

"The construction's going in where apartment complexes existed in old places that were slums.  They'll be torn down and rebuilt brand new with a strong criteria on how they look and how they're managed," says Warr.

Council members agree the plan would make Gulfport a leader on the coast when it comes to affordable housing.  With the combination of the proposed units and affordable housing already in place, the city of Gulfport says it has a lot affordable housing to offer.

"The figure under the current audit it's about 4,000 for all of Harrison County.  If we're doing about 2,000, at this point I think it's a good start," Councilwoman Barbara Nally, Ward 7.

The plan aims to promote higher quality developments through things like standard architectural designs and guidelines along with on-site property management and security. To enhance the value of the neighborhood, it includes a variety of affordable housing options like courtyard homes, duplexes and apartments. To avoid building too many units within an area, developments would be at least one mile apart and have no more than 150 multi-family units in a development.

"It was a lot of work with the administration, the city council and planning commission. It's a big move in many ways for the city of Gulfport and we're very excited about it," says Warr.

All eight developments receiving the 100 percent tax credits have been approved by the city and four  still await approval at the state level.  Next, the city will hold a public hearing within the week for the public to weigh in on the plan.