FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2008
GOVERNOR BARBOUR SEEKS TO MORE THAN DOUBLE SIZE OF STATE’S LONG-TERM WORKFORCE HOUSING COMMITMENT
(JACKSON, Mississippi) – Today Governor Haley Barbour announced the State of Mississippi will seek federal approval to commit another $100 million for the Long-Term Workforce Housing Program (LTWH), an effort which would include soliciting more applications for Round 2 and also implementing a third LTWH round.
“If federal regulators at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agree with our request to add more money to this program, this will increase Mississippi’s Long Term Workforce Housing program to $350 million, more than twice the original estimate,” Governor Barbour said.
“This will help us achieve our goal of building more than 20,000 affordable housing units in the counties hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, and it will mean the Gulf Coast community will have more affordable housing stock than was there prior to the storm, which is a critical component of the Coast’s rebuilding and renewal effort.”
The Long Term Workforce Housing Program is one part of a broad $5.4 billion federal hurricane recovery package approved for Mississippi by Congress shortly after the August 29, 2005 storm. The package is comprised of flexible Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding which may be used for a variety of housing and community revitalization needs.
The LTWH program awards federal grants to individual businesses, developers, non-profits, contractors and others who submit plans for building mixed income, yet affordable housing specifically designed to serve the work force needed to sustain the vibrant economic revival along the Coast. In Round 1, the Long Term Workforce Initiative has approved 14 LTWF housing proposals, totaling about $150 million and expected to bring about 5,850 workforce housing units to the market.
Of the entire CDBG recovery package for Mississippi, currently more than $3 billion is committed to the Coast’s housing recovery needs. This includes the Homeowner Assistance, Elevation Grant, Public Housing, Small Rental and Long-Term Workforce Housing initiatives.