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Katrina recovery program hits milsestone

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — With the opening of 262 new units today, the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) Public Housing Grant Program, funded through Mississippi’s $5.4-billion federally provided Hurricane Katrina recovery package, has now finished more than 900 public housing units, and more are poised to become available in the coming weeks.

“We said in April that we expect about 600 units to be finished before the end of June, and we’re poised to achieve that goal,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “We’re not just building back old-style public housing, we’re building a new type of public housing that is attractive to residents, complements the surrounding area and is something in which the entire community can take pride.”

Two of these projects, part of Mississippi Regional Housing Authority 8’s Katrina recovery plan, will officially opening during ceremony today in Pascagoula. Morrison Village, located on Old Mobile Highway, is a 120-unit complex for senior adults. Down the street, Taylor Heights will provide 144 units of single family housing available for all ages.

Working with local housing authorities in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties, the State of Mississippi has allocated $106 million in federally-appropriated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding to restore the public housing stock, which was damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

The State of Mississippi has committed $7 million to build both Pascagoula projects, coupled with $21 million in tax credit financing administered through the Mississippi Home Corporation.

In total, more than 2,000 of about 2,500 planned post-Katrina public housing units are completed, under construction or about to begin construction.

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