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Biloxi Emerges from Katrina with Help from Habitat

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

If you are the kind of person who likes gambling, Biloxi Mississippi might be the town for you – for many reasons. First, it is a gambling paradise. Starting with the Hard Rock Hotel Casino and the Beau Rivage, there are at least 7 major casinos in Biloxi. It is the gambling capital of the southeast.

On other levels Biloxi (pronounced Ba lux’ ee) is also for gamblers. Complacency after Hurricane Camille convinced many people to build in low areas. When hurricanes came, many ignored evacuation orders. Unfortunately devastation in Hurricane Katrina in 2005 was truly horrible, with almost all homes and businesses damaged or destroyed. The flood surge went miles inland in this pancake-flat area.

If you really want to gamble Biloxi could be a real estate opportunity. The infrastructure is coming back in this town of 50,000. Housing is relatively inexpensive (average home price in 2007 was $150,000, higher than the Mississippi average) and so are taxes and living expenses. There are huge waterfront properties available – for those willing to build in this hurricane-prone area. There are terrific amenities beyond the casinos, such as Beavoir, the post-war estate of Jefferson Davis, or the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum that is designed by expressionist postmodern architect Frank Gehry. There are miles and miles of beaches, and the local waters team with seafood.

Your Topretirements editor has been down here for a week with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat is helping the thousands of residents who lost their homes as a result of Katrina. Volunteers from all over America have been coming here year round since 2005 to help. Our team of 10 from Connecticut has been working on framing a 1300 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home. We started with a concrete slab – this picture shows what we have accomplished after 3 days of hot, sweaty, and joyous work.

I recommend the experience – the need is still great, the companionship outstanding, and the sense of accomplishment superb. Habitat is a first class organization with wonderful staff and purpose. Mississippi Gulf Coast Habitat for Humanity or Habitat

Posted by Admin on October 16th, 2008

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