Council debates affordable cottages project

Hattiesburg, Mississsippi – Whether Hattiesburg will ever have an intimate community of affordable housing – comprised of the Mississippi Emergency Management’s Katrina Cottages – is still a question.

A question that was heavily debated by the Hattiesburg City Council Monday night when it was presented with a proposal from the administration seeking the approval of a Cottage Overlay District within city limits.

Council’s approval of an overlay district, according to Hattiesburg’s Director of Urban Development Pattie Brantley, would help open the door for Recover, Rebuild, Restore Southeast Mississippi to establish its proposed Katrina-cottage community on a section of undeveloped land in Palmer’s Crossing.

The subdivision – designed for placement in the 200 block of Sullivan Drive – will feature 20 units that are about 14 feet wide and vary between 40 to 70 feet in length.

Last week, the Hattiesburg Planning Commission unanimously approved the project.

But the commission seemed to get a cold shoulder from Ward 2 Councilwoman Deborah Denard Delgado and Henry Naylor of Ward 5, whose districts are saturated with some of the city’s low-income residents – the very population the proposed project is targeted for.

Delgado said the cottages – and the subdivision – just doesn’t fit into her vision of better housing for the city’s economically disadvantaged.

Read remainder of the story at Hattiesburg American.

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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