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Oct. 15, 2010

AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLEX FOR ELDERLY BREAKS GROUND
ON GULF COAST

Officials broke ground today on a 209-unit housing complex for low-income elderly residents in Biloxi, Gov. Haley Barbour announced today. The Santa Maria del Mar Retirement Apartment Complex, sponsored by the Diocese of Biloxi, was badly damaged in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

“Today’s groundbreaking signifies another step in the Gulf Coast’s recovery,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “Santa Maria del Mar provides needed affordable housing to our senior citizens. I appreciate the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, Catholic Charities and the Catholic Diocese in planning this much-needed housing project. I also want to thank Sen. Thad Cochran and Sen. Roger Wicker for their support in getting this project funded and moving forward.”

The housing complex will be reconstructed with $29.2 million in public assistance funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Units will be rented to residents with 50 percent of the area median income. Rental assistance will be provided through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The retirement community will have 135 efficiency apartments and 74 one-bedroom apartments, just as the complex held before the storm. There also is space for administrative offices, lounges, an assembly room, vending areas, kitchen, laundry rooms and a mail area. The new complex will be on a 10-acre site, just south of Interstate 10 near Popps Ferry Road.