North Gulfport Community Land Trust Holds Their First Open House

You used to find homes like this one all over north Gulfport.

"North Gulfport was a community where we took care of one another in the community," says resident Rose Johnson.

Those days, like the historic Craftsman's Cottages are all but gone thanks in large part to Hurricane Katrina.

"If you look around, you can see roughly a third to a half of the lots in this neighborhood are over grown," says Jason MacKenzie.

Now, members of the North Gulfport Community Land Trust hope this remodeled and relocated 1925 cottage will mark the turning point in the neighborhoods comeback.

"It is my dream to change the landscape of the North Gulfport community," says Johnson.

That's why Rose Johnson founded the Community Land Trust, to bring people back and keep over development under control.

"We want to keep neighborhoods," says Johnson. "Everybody thinks we're against development. We're not against development. Development is good, but communities are better."

The project was funded through various grants from government and private sources, and Executive Director Jason MacKenzie says thanks to the Land Trust, the house and the money spent to build it will stay in the community.

"If a home buyer buys it at an affordable price, they don't get the opportunity when they sell the house to cash out on all those grants," says  MacKenzie. "Those grants stay with the home. So they get a small return on their investment but it goes to the next low income home buyer. It's a way of creating permanent affordability."

And that's something Rose Johnson says is vital to this community's present and future.

"It's about our young people. It's about leaving this community in a better place than where we found it."

The home is currently for sale.  The price will be determined based on the buyers income level.