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New Monroe housing development is providing affordable homeownership opportunity for families



MONROE, La. – A new housing community is coming to South Monroe.

The Monroe Housing Authority was awarded $3.5 million from the Louisiana Housing Corporation and the Louisiana Neighborhood Landlord Rental Program for the demolition, construction, and revitalization of their new property “Preservation Mills.”

The 23-home property is now open to the public; ten of the homes are completed and ready for move-in.

“We just want to bring light to this community and encourage people that you can dream, your dreams can come true and be a reality,” said William V. Smart, the MHA Executive Director.

Homes are available for a five-year leasing term and then families can buy them after. Smart said MHA’s goal is to provide affordable homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers. As of right now, the price is $795 a month for three bedrooms.

Odessa Hamburg is one of those aspiring homeowners who said she’s always dreamed of having her own home and place for her grandkids.

“It’s wonderful if you can find a house where you can buy for seven hundred dollars a month in five years, who wouldn’t want something like that?”

Smart also said their goal is to revitalize this section of the city and change the stigma surrounded the south side.

“You may see some condemned homes, some boarded-up homes. We’re trying to take the boards off the homes,” he said.

MHA is also providing financial literacy programs, career development, and credit repair counseling to help new homeowners before, during, and after their leasing term.

“Most challenges people do have is trying to have that down payment so we’re trying to get them in that frame of mind for what they can do,” Smart said.

While this is just the beginning of this development in one part of the city, people like Hamburg hope to see more affordable housing options so others can make their dreams a reality too.

“I pray that more people come in and invest too, that way we’ll have more houses not only this area but more houses that people can afford,” she said