Plan targets repair of Katrina damaged homes and permanent placement of Mississippi Cottages Housing advocates to dismiss appeal claiming redirection of disaster aid to port restoration and expansion
Biloxi, MS – November 16, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — U. S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour today announced the approval of a $132 million disaster recovery plan proposed by the State of Mississippi that will direct federal funding to Hurricane Katrina housing recovery in southern Mississippi. Primarily funded through HUD supplemental disaster recovery Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, the program supports the long-term recovery in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The plan includes a new Neighborhood Home program that will repair low-and-moderate-income homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina and assist qualified low-and-moderate-income families to occupy Mississippi Cottages and find rental housing.
The Neighborhood Home program will provide up to $75,000 worth of repairs, rehabilitation, or reconstruction to lower-income homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Mississippi Development Authority’s Disaster Recovery Division (MDA-DRD) will administer the program, with case management provided by the State’s Housing Resource Centers. Other programs will provide assistance to qualified households seeking to permanently occupy cottages and to qualified renters whose apartments were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
“We are pleased to accept Mississippi’s Long-Term Workforce Housing Action Plan Amendment that will provide necessary funding to help those residents displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said Secretary Donovan. “We are fully committed to working with all parties involved to ensure that the affected families receive the relief and long-term recovery assistance that they are due.”
The agreement comes nearly two years after a lawsuit was filed on behalf of the Mississippi Conference NAACP, Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center and numerous individual plaintiffs. The lawsuit claims that Mississippi improperly redirected $570 million in housing funds toward the restoration and expansion of the State Port at Gulfport. With HUD’s approval of Mississippi’s action plan and outreach plan, attorneys for the plaintiffs and HUD filed for a motion to dismiss the appeal now pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The State will immediately undertake an outreach campaign for the Neighborhood Home program in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Pearl River, Stone, George, Lamar, Forrest, and Jones Counties. Applications are being accepted immediately at designated intake centers identified in the attachment to this press release, and will be accepted through January 31, 2011. For more information on program details, go to www.msdisasterrecovery.com. Residents can also call the United Way 211 Call Center to access information about the intake center closest to them. Simply dial 211 from any landline or cell phone.
HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.