A new policy that prohibits planting flowers at certain public housing properties doesn't apply to public housing communities in Biloxi.
As WLOX News first reported, Mississippi Region Eight Housing Authority recently adopted more strict rules about residents planting flowers. But the rules are different because public housing communities in Biloxi are not governed by Region Eight. The Biloxi Housing Authority oversees those communities.
Biloxi Housing Authority Executive Director Edward Jagnandan wants to clear up any confusion. He says residents of Biloxi public housing are encouraged to use their green thumbs.
Bessie Johnson lives in public housing in Biloxi. She takes pride in her rose bush. The blooms add a splash of color to the homes in Sun Coast Villa.
"I love my flowers," Johnson said.
Gary and Trisha Saujon also enjoy working in their flower garden. He goes and buys the plants. She does most of the weeding and watering.
"We enjoy it," Gary said. "We like it. It makes the house look good. Makes the yard look good. Makes it look real nice, as you can see."
But this isn't just in one Biloxi public housing complex. If you go to any other complex within Biloxi, you'll find the same thing.
Executive director Edward Jagnandan says residents are encouraged to beautify their property. He says landscaping and flowers make the communities attractive and promote responsibility among residents.
"It gives residents a sense of personal pride. They're happy to do it," Jagnandan said. "They're happy to be living in a beautiful environment, living in a very attractive place."
Those who enjoy planting flowers say the beauty of their gardens goes far beyond personal satisfaction. It's also about neighborhood pride.
"[It] adds beauty to them. It really does," Bessie Johnson said. "People get flowers and stuff planted around the neighborhood. That makes the place look better."
So far, we've heard "no comment" from the leaders of the Region Eight Housing Authority about the new planting policy. But that's about to change.
Executive Director Roy Necaise has agreed to explain the new rules and take us on a tour of public housing properties on Thursday. Tune in to WLOX News then to hear what he has to say.
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