FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 17, 2006
HUD APPROVES $100 MILLION FOR COAST PUBLIC HOUSING
Funding will help rebuild thousands of public housing units in South Mississippi
WASHINGTON – More than 2,500 public housing units in South Mississippi were damaged or destroyed when Hurricane Katrina made landfall nearly one year ago. Today, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson approved a $100 million plan to restore these public housing units on at least a “one-to-one basis.”
Funded through $5 billion HUD previously allocated to the state through the Department’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, Mississippi intends to provide grants to public housing authorities in Biloxi, Bay St. Louis, Waveland, and Long Beach. In addition, the CDBG funding will help to redevelop damaged or destroyed public housing properties in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties.
“This is a direct investment in the homes of low- and very low-income families who once called these public housing developments home,” said Jackson. “Any long-term strategy to rebuild South Mississippi communities must include lower income families and this plan does.”
Governor Barbour said, “HUD’s announcement today is a milestone in our efforts to restore essential public housing stock in Hurricane Katrina-stricken areas of South Mississippi. The new construction and rebuilding work these funds will support means low- and very low-income families can once again take advantage of affordable housing in communities that are better protected than ever from future storms. I deeply appreciate Secretary Jackson's approval of the State's plan and look forward to its speedy implementation.”
Mississippi’s CDBG-funded plan will distribute grants to each housing authority based on the proportionate damage done to their respective housing stock. The housing authorities receiving these grants may use the funding to leverage other available resources in developing affordable housing targeting low- and very low-income residents.
The housing authorities may use the grants to rebuild and/or repair units that existed before the storm or to develop new multi-family properties that contain replacement units that target persons or families who earn 60 percent or less of the area’s median income. To qualify for a grant, each housing authority must agree to a number of conditions, including:
• Offer displaced public housing residents first priority in reoccupying new or repaired units
• Agree to a new damage assessment from a State-provided assessor
• Maintain at least the same number of affordable housing units that were offered prior to the storm
• Meet International Building Code (IBC) standards or local building requirements (whichever is more stringent) for all new units
• Elevate new units in accordance with FEMA flood maps and offer accessibility for persons with disabilities
• Maintain 100 percent insurance coverage on replacement values of the property.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. For more information about FHA products, please visit www.fha.gov.