Back Bay Mission Ribbon Cutting

After months of construction, Back Bay Mission opened the doors to its very first single home build for low-income families.
News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a look at the finished product in Gulfport.
Back Bay Mission and Gulf Coast Housing Initiative teamed up to provide a low-income family with the opportunity to live above their means. Gulf Coast Housing Initiative Executive Director Everett Lewis said, “We’ve partnered on several different projects previously in the past, but typically it’s been acquisition rehab. We would purchase foreclosed properties, rehab them, and then sell them to a low to moderate income family.”
This time, the two organizations decided to take a vacant lot, that was once the scene of a fatal fire, and build the perfect start-up house for a family.
Hundreds of volunteers from all over the country helped turn this scene of tragedy into a space to create joyous memories. Volunteers worked tirelessly over a course of eight months to help build this home from the ground up. Construction Manager Craig Steenkanp said, “All the building materials are all maintainable, sustainable for the long-term. We don’t do any lipstick and band-aid work that’s going to wear out too quickly.”
The house includes three bedrooms, two bathrooms, hardwood floors, high ceilings, and so much more. It’s officially on the market, but before you set your heart on moving in, there are certain requirements you must meet. “The purchaser of this home has to income qualify. So the family, the household income, cannot exceed 120 percent of the area-median income,” said Lewis.
Members of both organizations hope whoever moves into the house feels safe, secure and all of the love that went into building it. Back Bay Mission Executive Director Alice Graham said, “That means everything to me, that it’s about building long term sustainability.”

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