Wiggins Welcomes Affordable Housing Development

WIGGINS (WLOX) -- A new subdivision of affordable homes is taking shape in Stone County. The project called Wiggins Estates is made possible by Go Zone incentives.

Pearl River Valley Opportunity is the organization building the 40 new houses, which are located in the 600 block of South McGregor Street, not far from Highway 26 in Wiggins.

Helmon Johnson is director of Pearl River Valley Opportunity.

"This is a wonderful day for us. Anytime that we can christen a new subdivision of affordable homes for people, that makes us feel really, really, really good," said Johnson, as he kicked off the event.

Although Pearl River Valley Opportunity hosted a ground breaking celebration, the actual construction of 40 new homes is already well underway.

Wiggins Estates is targeted at lower income, first time home buyers; an opportunity for them to realize the American dream.

"Two important things happen in your life. When you bring a new child into your family and when you move into a new home," said Wiggins Mayor Jerry Alexander, who called the new development "history making."

Home buyers in this affordable subdivision will first be renters. The rent-to-own program is made possible by "go zone" incentives; tax credits through the Mississippi Home Corporation.

"We don't just hand out tax credits to anybody who comes through the door. It's a very competitive cycle. We typically will have three dollars in applications for every dollar we allocate," said vice president Chuck Morris.

Pearl River Valley Opportunity is now taking applications from potential buyers. The project is aimed at working families who can't afford a home through conventional financing.

Darrell Berry is a city councilman in Wiggins.

"It can be hard buying a home, especially for first time buyers or single moms. So, it's a real good project. And we're glad to have Pearl River Valley here in Wiggins," said Berry.

"What we have done here today is not a panacea to the ills of the housing problem here in South Mississippi. However, it's a good start," said Johnson.