WAVELAND, MISS.—More than five years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed all of Hancock County’s public housing, seniors in Waveland have a new home.
Gov. Haley Barbour and other officials celebrated the opening of Oak Haven Apartments this week. Developed by the Bay Waveland Housing Authority and Centerpointe Regional Housing Development, the 80-unit community is affordable to seniors 52 and older earning no more than 50 percent of the area median income.
The $15.8 million cottage-style apartment development is hurricane resistant and features the latest in weatherization technology, including concrete-filled insulated form wall systems that can withstand 130 mph winds.
“Oak Haven is a wonderful example of what people, whether they be from government, the private sector, or the not-for-profit community, can do when they work together,” said Barbour. “I’m thankful to Enterprise for their continued commitment to the Gulf Coast’s recovery and to American Express for their generous investment in Oak Haven’s future.”
The American Express Center for Community Development provided a $7.3 million investment.
The project received an award of Gulf Opportunity Zone low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) from Mississippi Home Corp., which were purchased by American Express through Enterprise.
The Mississippi Development Authority provided $8.5 million in Community Development Block Grant hurricane relief funds.
The project is part of Enterprise’s commitment to invest $200 million with partners to rebuild stronger, healthier communities along the Gulf Coast damaged by the storms in 2005.
“Enterprise is thrilled to be a part of the financing team for Oak Haven, our first of what we hope will be many LIHTC investments in Mississippi and one of many green affordable developments created as part of our commitment to rebuilding the Gulf,” said Terri Ludwig, president and CEO of Enterprise Community Partners.
The apartments have patios, washers and dryers, and ceiling fans in the living rooms and bedrooms. The development also has a large community room, a computer room, and a picnic area. Services include free transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores, Meals on Wheels, and health screenings.