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      Open house held for affordable homes in MB

      MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Potential homeowners were given the opportunity to check out new affordable housing the City of Myrtle Beach has to offer Sunday. Canal Cove is more than a year in the making and federal funds helped make the new complex a reality.

      "When you get new houses in , the community begins to feel a sense of pride because they feel like the community is being improved," explains Edna Wright. She's been working on the Canal Cove project with other city officials.

      At the end of Canal street sits three new modular homes in the Harlem neighborhood. The addition is breathing new life into an area that doesn't have the best reputation.

      "A shooter went by a couple months ago and it hit my car. Thank God I wasn't in it. We have things going on, on Canal Street that I wasn't raised up with," says longtime resident Fannie Carr. She lives next door to the new homes. and is cautiously optimitistic the upgrade will make a difference.

      Carr says she was surprised when Wright first approached her and others in the community about the idea , "You're so used to one thing and then another thing come along you have to get adjusted to it. But when they said they were going to build the houses the area was vacant and we needed houses in the area for people and I thought it was okay."

      After six weeks of construction Carr is excited. "I want to see who's going to move next door and be my neighbor."

      "It's like the broken window syndrome. We're trying to eliminate that and have people who take pride in their community and want to keep it up," adds Wright.

      The new complex is specifically geared to give lower income families an opportunity to enjoy the American dream. Wright says a sale price has not been set yet but they were appraised at $85,000.

      In three months c ity officials expect families to move in . As part of the improvements , a home next to Canal Cove will be renovated.

      "I think it shows that the city is committed to improving communities that we are doing everything possible to better the community by putting in a good product not something that looks cheap. Something that looks very nice and will certainly increase the values within the community," says Wright.

      The 1,100 sq ft three bedroom two bathroom houses were paid for by neighborhood stabilization funds provided by HUD. The city plans to build a fourth home in the future. Those who want to buy the homes must complete a homeownership class and counseling.

      " I'm just hoping that the economy will pick up and things start going good again and I think that will help our neighborhood ," says Carr.

      If you're interested in buying one of the homes contact Theresa Ross, the home ownership coordinator with the Myrtle Beach Housing Authority, at (843) 918-1560