Biloxi Housing Authority making 160+ units available

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi's Housing Authority says there is so much demand for public housing, it is taking steps not to be overrun with applications. Next month more than 160 brand new apartments will become available.

As construction wraps up on McDonnell Apartments, the Biloxi Housing Authority is hearing from people who need affordable housing. Housing officials are limiting applications to 25 a day. The director says some people had already been lined up for hours when the office opened at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.

There is some painting, some patching, and a little sprucing up. But for the most part, the general contractor says the crews building McDonnell Apartments are almost to the finish line.

The complex is made up of 90 two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments and 72 one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments. All of them have washer-dryer connections.

James Yopp is a construction manager for Sessoms Builders.

"All the units come with dishwasher, range and a refrigerator for all the units. They also have garbage disposals," he said.

By the end of February, the Biloxi Housing Authority hopes to see renters living there. Officials say right now there are 150 people on agency's public housing waiting list.

"We know we have demand for low income housing in the city of Biloxi," said Bobby Hensley, Biloxi Housing Authority director. "This will help ease that demand somewhat.

The Biloxi Housing Authority is only taking 25 applications a day, so as not to get overwhelmed by the processing. On Wednesday, officials said that quota was met only two hours after the office opened, and some people had to be turned away.

"I think the demand is considerably high for the lower income people. They have come back to the area following the storm. I don't think that the housing is adequate and much of East Biloxi was rental and lower income and most of it was destroyed," Hensley said.

As crews make the last few touch ups, they say it feels good to work on a project they know is so needed in the area.

"It feels great working in Biloxi, Mississippi and doing something back for the community," said Yopp.

The general contractor says McDonnell Apartments will have more handicap accessible apartments than the law requires, creating more leasing opportunities for people with disabilities.