By Jim Albritton
Health and Research News Service

JACKSON, Miss.—The first apartment complex in Mississippi designed for the physically disabled and built with funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was named for a long-time advocate of the disabled at a groundbreaking ceremony in Jackson.

Webb Park Apartments will feature a barrier free environment without steps or steep ramps, fully accessible kitchens with knee space at sinks and work areas, extra wide doorways, lowered light switches and raised electrical outlets.

The 19 unit building will be named for John H. Webb, Jr., a Methodist Rehabilitation Center board member and former state director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
A native of Columbia, Webb attended Millsaps College, received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and an education specialist degree from Mississippi State University.

Mississippi Methodist Accessible Housing, Inc. (MMAH), a not-for-profit corporation formed by Methodist Rehabilitation Center to increase housing options for the physically disabled in Mississippi, worked to secure a section 811 program grant from HUD to build the complex.

“Research indicates a growing need for this type of housing throughout our state,” said Steve Hope, MMAH president. “There are many disabled Mississippians who are independent enough to live on their own if the right kind of housing is available.”

“Webb Park is a great example of community leaders working with a government agency to help provide housing solutions,” said Mark Adams, president and CEO of Methodist Rehabilitation Center. “We hope to work together again on similar projects in other parts of the state.”

The new building, designed by Singleton Architects, P.A. and built by MidState Construction, Inc., will be managed by Southern Management Company. It will open in 2001 and applications for residency will be available in the spring.

“This will be wonderful for those who will live here,” said Thomas A. Turner, MMAH board chairman. “Webb Park will give them a sense of community, well being and independence.”