Meridian, Miss. The Meridian Housing Authority has a new program to give a path to home ownership for families in public housing.
A ribbon cutting for the new transition homes and the 24-month process was held Wednesday.
Seventeen residents moved into their temporary houses as part of MHA's Path to Home Ownership Program.
Ron Turner, executive director of the MHA, says the residents must meet standards to qualify for the program and continue to meet them after moving in.
"The criteria is that they have to qualify for our family self-sufficiency program," said Turner. "They set personal goals that they have to meet, but the main goal is home ownership. They've got to want to be able to meet the criteria that's going to permit them to own a home."
After 24 months, the residents graduate from the program. The final test before graduation is to close on a new home.
One of the new residents moved into her transition home from Eastern Gardens about a month ago, and she still can't believe it.
"I'm truly elated with joy," said new homeowner, Brigida Brooks. "There aren't any words that can describe how happy I am right now. I love my new home. The housing authority has truly gone above and beyond the call of duty with the design of the houses. You couldn't ask for a better blessing. It's just amazing. I still walk into it sometimes and just get excited like I'm visiting."
Brooks says that her kids have never been happier and that God has truly blessed them.
The Meridian Housing Authority serves about 3,000 residents in the city. It has 1200 public housing units, provides housing vouchers for another 200 families, and also has 89 privately-owned apartments.