Ribbon is Cut at Mississippi Affordable Housing Community

McIntosh Homes, an affordable housing community for seniors in the Greene County, Miss., town of Leakesville, was given its grand opening ceremony this week.

Leakesville, Miss.—McIntosh Homes, an affordable housing community for seniors in the Greene County, Miss., town of Leakesville, was given its grand opening ceremony this week. The community is the product of a public-private partnership between South Mississippi Housing and Development Corp. (SMHD) and The Michaels Development Co., based in New Jersey.

McIntosh Homes features 50 units, with a breakdown of 35 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom apartments. They are earmarked for residents 50 years of age or older with household incomes of less than 50 percent of area median income.

“There are countless reasons why this was the right time to develop McIntosh Homes,” Demetria Simpson, SMHD CEO and president, tells MHN. “That long list includes that there have been no affordable housing developments constructed in Leakesville since the 1980s, that a tornado devastated the area in 2011 and that like all communities across the country, the senior population is increasing in Leakesville. Providing affordable housing is at the heart of what SMHD does, and I can’t think of any better time than now to fulfill our mission for the residents of Greene County.”

All McIntosh Homes apartments are wheelchair accessible and offer upgraded features. Included in the features package are ceiling fans, a refrigerator, electric range and oven, dishwasher, window coverings, air conditioning, washer and dryer connections, cable television and Internet access.

McIntosh Homes’ amenities include a community center, where residents can take advantage of fitness equipment and computers. Half of the units will be operated as public-housing units, with the remainder operated as project-based voucher units. Equity raised from the sale of Low Income Housing Tax Credits funded most of the $9 million cost of the mixed-financed development.

Despite the happy ending, it was anything but smooth sailing to get the project completed. “This concept for an affordable senior development was introduced to Leakesville eight years ago, so it was a long journey that required the support of many,” Simpson relates. “However, I would have to say without a doubt, the main challenge was that Hurricane Katrina . . . caused an immediate shift to create housing in the coastal area of the state.”

McIntosh Homes is professionally managed by Interstate Realty Management Co. Michaels Development and Interstate are both part of The Michaels Organization, the umbrella organization for a group of companies that have excelled in affordable and mixed-finance housing for the past four decades.

McIntosh Homes is a sustainable investment to this area,” Simpson says. “But beyond the economic value, it gives seniors a choice. At our grand opening, you could really see on the faces of the attendees what I call an attitude of gratitude. This community has been through a lot following the ‘11 tornado, and now, their senior population has an option for secure, beautiful and affordable housing that they not only need, but that they also deserve.”