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Spotlight on Tunica County Community Development Coalition

Tunica County, located in the northwest corner of Mississippi in the Delta Region, was once one of the richest cotton-producing areas in the world.  It is named for the Tunica Native American tribe that originally lived in the region.  Today, while farming still occupies much of the land area, the county also boasts thriving new businesses and industrial and community development.  Tunica is home to nearly 11,000 residents, almost three-quarters of whom are of African American ancestry.

In 1992, the Tunica County Community Development Coalition (TCCDC) came into being as a group of 30 volunteers that worked on a special youth development program, and subsequently organized around addressing the need for affordable housing in the Mississippi Delta.

Today, the primary mission of TCCDC is to facilitate community development by implementing a comprehensive approach to community economic development that includes business development, housing, commercial development, technical assistance and training, youth development programs and community outreach services.  Its aim is to improve the quality of life for low and very low income families by providing economic development opportunities, housing development, credit counseling and supportive services.  Since its inception, the coalition has been engaged in developing both single and multifamily housing.  It is certified as a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) by the state of Mississippi, which makes it eligible for HOME Investment Partnership funds for single and multifamily housing development. 

In addition to housing, TCCDC provides homebuyer education workshops, housing counseling, credit counseling, down-payment assistance, individual developed accounts, USDA Rural Development application assistance and a variety of other social services. In 2004, TCCDC increased its scope of services by establishing a Small Business Division to assist small business owners with training and technical assistance.  In 2006 TCCDC again increased its scope of services with the Youth Entrepreneurship Program which teaches at-risk youth ages 15-19  the skills and knowledge to be entrepreneurs.

Most recently, TCCDC further extended its outreach to county residents with a new program, the New Housing Initiative.  This program enables families with Section 8 vouchers to move out of renting and into homeownership.  It converts Section 8 vouchers to homeownership vouchers and qualifies families for mortgage loans through TCCDC’s credit counseling and financial education programs.   TCCDC collaborated with North Delta Regional Housing Authority (NDRHA), Rural LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) and the Renaissance Community Loans Fund to make homeownership a reality for Section 8 tenants.

“I’ve been renting so long, I never thought I would or could be a homeowner and today I closed on MY new house…”
— Allie Williams

Recently, the first home was purchased with a Section 8 homeownership voucher through the program.  TCCDC Executive Director James Dunn presented the keys to the first time homebuyers, mother and daughter, Allie and Sandra Williams. The Williams family purchased the home with their Section 8 voucher from North Delta Regional Housing Authority (NDRHA) and financing from Renaissance Community Loans Fund.  TCCDC developed the three-bedroom, two-bath home and carport with construction financing provided by Rural LISC.

Tunica County CDC Executive Director James Dunn with Allie and Sandra Williams at the closing of their new home.
Tunica County CDC Executive Director James Dunn with Allie and Sandra Williams at the closing of their new home.

Congratulations to Allie and her daughter Sandra – the first family in Tunica County to qualify and purchase a home in the New Housing Initiative program!

And congratulations to TCCDC for its mission of improving the quality of life for low and very low income familes through a comprehensive community development approach.

To learn more about Tunica County CDC's mission to improve the quality of life for low and very low income families through business development, housing, commercial development, technical assistance and training, youth development programs, community outreach services and more, visit their website by clicking Learn More below, and find them on Facebook.

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