As the far-reaching effects of COVID-19 continue to spread, Mercy Housing and Human development is doing what it always has, standing in the gap between South Mississippi residents and loss.
Mercy Housing and Human Development has actually kept some homes in our area out of foreclosure. There are many other services they provide that you or someone you know may need.
Mercy Housing and Human Development Executive Director Julie Egressy said, “A snapshot of everybody’s house we’ve helped them get into with grants.”
A hall of homes and behind each photo is a story, South Mississippi residents who became homeowners thanks to a helping hand from Mercy Housing and Human Development in Gulfport. “We’re actually a HUD agency, working in tandem with them to provide home buyer education counseling, which unlocks the down payments and grants that are local in the local area. For example, right now, there is an FHLB federal home loan opportunity for down payment assistance, and Mississippi Home Corps is also offering down payment assistance. Basically about $17,000 to $20,000 of down payment assistance that somebody can use to buy a house.”
The nonprofit is also helping keep residents in their homes and out of foreclosure. “Right now, during COVID, we are a servicer for the Mississippi Hardest Hit funds. They did reopen back those funds so because of that reason, we are taking applications and providing information for people to apply for the Mississippi Hardest Hit funds through the state of Mississippi. We’ve had over 200 applications for foreclosure mitigation just through COVID alone over the past couple of months. We’ve had some positive stuff to come out of it-just to help people save their homes and come out of it.”
Mercy Housing and Human Development also offers a free tax preparation service. New this year is a drop box to make it more convenient for those wanting to file their taxes. “We entice you if you haven’t filled out your taxes yet, to come by our office, even after hours. We’re not open. Our lobby’s not open. We do have a drop box. You can open the box, get an envelope out, and fill out the information that’s required. Drop all of your text items in there.Just people who need to file their W2s, 1099’s and very simple paperwork.”
While social distancing measures are in place, employees here continue to work hard doing what they always do, providing assistance and turning dreams into a reality.
For more information about Mercy Housing and Human Development, you can visit mhhd.org or call 228-896-1945. Mercy Housing is located on Ford Street in Gulfport.