Biloxi: Doctor Helps Fill Need for Affordable Housing

Families in Biloxi, Mississippi are still struggling to rebuild and get their lives back to normal after Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina destroyed thousands of homes and finding affordable housing is the biggest problem for most residents right now. For many, FEMA trailers are home. More than 98,000 people are living in the FEMA trailers. Other residents still lack suitable, affordable housing.

But one Mississippi doctor hopes to cure the desperate need for housing in storm struck Mississippi. In the area workers can be seen guiding sections of new homes onto blocks. It's the result of a post-Katrina medical visit by a doctor from Meridian, Mississippi.

"We saw up to 200 patients per day while we were here at a clinic. We immediately recognized the need for affordable housing and that's how I got into this market," explains Dr. Randy Nance.

Nance says factory built modular homes are an affordable alternative to traditionally built homes and there's another benefit.

"The time factor is the big thing, a site-built home may typically take from nine months to a year. we can do these in four to six weeks, generally speaking."

The pre-built homes range in size from that of a small cottage to a giant mansion. The price ranges from $85 to around $100 per square foot. These prices are slightly lower than those for traditionally built houses.

"It's quicker. The quality is every bit as good if not higher. It's done in less time and with less money."

An architect is on the doctor's team to ensure some southern style house plans are available including "lots of porches, lots of overhangs, and sleeping porches," says architect B.B. Archer.

"We're just excited to be a part of the recovery,"says Dr. Nance.

The homes can be assembled in a day or two and they're made to withstand 150 mph winds.