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Housing report wins award

The Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District has received a 2009 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations for the Mississippi Housing Recovery Data Project.

The district contracted with the Compass Group, LLC, to assess housing needs after Hurricane Katrina. The data collected is used to develop housing policy and direct state and federal funds to housing programs.

“The Mississippi Housing Recovery Data Project has been an essential tool to help guide our recovery efforts on the Gulf Coast,” Gov. Haley Barbour said. “The information gathered on housing is critical to shaping the rebuilding effort and filling affordable housing needs in South Mississippi after the worst natural disaster in American history. I appreciate the hard work by the Southern Mississippi Planning and Development District, the Compass Group and others who made this project successful.”

In June 2009, information from the Housing Recovery Data Project led to Barbour’s congressional request for 5,000 additional vouchers for low-income renters. Congress allocated another $30 million to meet rental housing needs on the Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi program will be featured during the NADO’s 2009 Annual Training Conference, Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in Chicago.

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