Habitat for Humanity transforms temporary cottages

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

Pascagoula, MS (WLOX) - At first glance the home resembles many of the others on 13th Street in Pascagoula. But when you look a little closer, what started as a 700 square foot Mississippi Cottage has now been upgraded to a 1,200 square foot house.

"We added a large living room with the double french doors. We added 400 square feet of  front porch space and then a privacy porch right behind us is a master bed," Habitat for Humanity CEO Chris Monforton said.

Monforton says during this seven week build, workers also raised the house to meet the base flood elevation requirements.  While the new additions may sound expensive, Monforton says the price tag will be very affordable for the thousands of storm victims still living in cottages.

"It's less than $50,000 a unit. Rent has gone up 40 percent since the storm, and there just aren't a lot of options,"

Monforton hopes this housing option will be welcomed by other cities and counties along the coast.

"We are going to approach the council about expanding this project. I know similar concepts are in dialog with Biloxi Council. I know there has been planning meetings with Gulfport, as well."

The Stallworth couple from Pascagoula are excited about the new housing option. They say Katrina flooded their home, and now, they're looking for something new that will fit into their budget.

"It is more affordable and everyone's money is tight right now," storm victim Roger Stallworth said.

A temporary structure now transformed into a permanent home. The home is a pilot design, and it's the first of five that will be built in Pascagoula. If you're interested in viewing the home call Habitat for for Humanity at 228-314-0011.