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South Mississippi Housing and Development Corporation and Gulf Coast Housing Partnership Break Ground on North Park Estates in Gulfport Mississippi

On Thursday, October 22, Gulfport Mayor Billy Hewes and Harrison County District 4 Supervisor Kent Jones joined Representatives of the South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp. (SMHD), Gulf Coast Housing Partnership (GCHP) among others to break ground on the redevelopment of North Park Estates, an affordable housing community located at 8156 South Carolina Ave. near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in Gulfport.

North Park Estates was originally constructed in 1959 by the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority No. VIII (MRHA VIII) under the name L.C. Jones Public Housing. At the time of construction, the public housing development had 166 total units on 37 acres. In 2008, SMHD assumed ownership of North Park Estates from MRHA VIII and over time due to the age of the property many of the existing units became uninhabitable.

“North Park Estates is one of the oldest affordable housing developments in Gulfport and it has been in need of restoration for many years,” said Jessie Billups, president of SMHD. “Getting to where we are today has not been easy, but thanks to our partnership with HUD, our city leaders and our board, I am pleased to announce that construction has begun on the redevelopment of North Park Estates.”

Phase I of the $14 million redevelopment includes the demolition of 92 existing units (31 habitable and 61 uninhabitable), an office and maintenance room. Constructed on the site will be 80 one, two- and three- bedroom apartments designated for families at 60 % area median income and below. The new apartments will feature individual patios, washers and dryers. Residents will also enjoy new community amenities including a walking trail, playground, business/computer center and off-street parking.

The redevelopment project team includes SMHD; New Orleans based real estate developer, GCHP; Jay Bearden Construction; and Allred Stolarski Architects.
“We are excited to be here in Gulfport with SMHD to celebrate this groundbreaking,” said Kathy Laborde, GCHP president and CEO. “North Park Estates is an example of how GCHP works with our partners to provide families across the Gulf Coast with quality affordable housing and investing in residents’ overall wellbeing with access to supportive services and community amenities like the walking trail and playground that will be located onsite.”

The project is financed with a Mississippi Home Corporation tax credit allocation and tax exempt bond issuance; lending through Mississippi Regional Housing Authority VIII and Column Financial; equity investments through National Equity Fund; construction financing from Wells Fargo and Synovus; Affordable Housing Program funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta and it’s member institution Synovus; and Affordable Housing Program funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas and its member institution The Peoples Bank.

“National Equity Fund is proud to partner with fellow non-profits, GCHP and SMHD, whose persistence and hard work will lead to the much-needed revitalization of North Park Estates, said Jason Aldridge, vice president of originations for National Equity Fund. “This project will now be able to serve families in Gulfport for many years; furthering NEF’s mission to provide safe, affordable housing across the country.”

Expected completion date for Phase I of the redevelopment of North Park Estates is Summer 2021.


About Gulf Coast Housing Partnership

GCHP is the highest capacity nonprofit housing and community development firm in the Gulf Coast. GCHP grew from a start-up organization in 2006 with three employees to more than 70 employees today. GCHP is a mission-based development organization focused on creating healthy and sustainable housing and commercial developments in the Gulf South. Since its inception, GCHP has created or preserved over 3,150 quality affordable homes in Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Mississippi while also working with nonprofit partners to develop 360,000 square feet of facilities that focus on community development. To learn more visit

About South Mississippi Housing and Development Corporation
SMHD is a nonprofit organization that was formed by Mississippi Regional Housing Authority No. VIII in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to leverage public and private funding and create collaborative partnerships that would enhance economic opportunities and increase the supply of affordable housing stock in the South Mississippi region. SMHD is dedicated to developing new, affordable housing, as well as preserving existing housing in their 14-county area of operation. SMHD is actively involved in the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of multiple mixed-income development projects in several counties. To learn more visit

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