The first Mississippi county approved for rural housing loans from the United States Housing Authority was Lee County. Loans represented 90% of the construction and 10% was locally supplied for the $790,000 program. “America’s first ‘economy wall’ unit of brick residences have been completed under direction of the rural housing authority on Highway 78, three miles east of Tupelo…” (Housing Work, 1941). D. D. Smith Lumber Company constructed the brick houses, which were the first of the farm houses under New Deal work to be built of brick. The project authorized 300 rural homes to be constructed. The first home was designed as a three-bedroom home to be constructed on the farmer’s acreage for approximate cost of $1200-1300 and monthly rent of $4. Six Lee county farmers were selected in late August 1940 from the communities of Baldwyn, Saltillo, East Tupelo, Mooreville, Shannon, and Plantersville. The first contract for construction was awarded in October 1940 and the home was completed and opened to the public January 14, 1941.
Housing Project Given Approval. (Jan 4, 1940). Clarion-Ledger, p. 13.
First Mississippi County Given Rural Housing Fund. (Mar 15, 1940). Enterprise-Journal, p. 1.
Rural Housing Opens Tuesday. (Aug 8, 1940). Clarion-Ledger, p. 8.
Six Lee Farmers Get Fulfillment of Home Dream. (Aug 20, 1940). Clarion-Ledger, p. 2.
Construction Will Begin in Lee With 300 Rural Houses. (Oct 4, 1940). Clarion-Ledger, p. 7.
Award Contract for 1st Rural Housing Project in State. (Nov 12, 1940). McComb Daily Journal, p. 3.
Dwelling Bids to be Given. (Jan 17, 1941). Clarion-Ledger, p. 3.
Housing Authority Endorses Upstate Project in Tupelo. (Feb 4, 1941). Clarion-Ledger, p. 2.
Housing Work to Open Soon. (May 7, 1941). Clarion-Ledger, p. 11.
FDR Signs Longest List Ever Approved: Mississippi Gets Number of Projects. (Jul 23, 1941). Clarion-Ledger, p. 14.
Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on January 19, 2020.
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