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New Katrina recovery program established

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST — Gov. Haley Barbour has unveiled a new Hurricane Katrina recovery housing initiative targeted specifically at rehabilitating rental structures in existing neighborhoods south of Interstate 10.

“With more than 70 percent of our $5.4-billion federally funded Katrina recovery package budgeted toward restoring housing stock, we’re seeing the Coast’s overall housing availability requirements being rapidly met, particularly as we’ve now disbursed more than $2 billion in homeowners assistance and are in the midst of an almost $1-billion effort to build affordable housing,” Barbour said. “However, our recent housing study found a need to address affordability of existing stock, and to provide some additional housing in some specific areas that remain blighted. This program

helps us do both.”

The Neighborhood Rental Restoration operates much like the Mississippi Development Authority’s (MDA’s) previous two Small Rental Program rounds, enabling mom-and-pop rental owners to access forgivable loans and invest them toward rental properties, provided they exclusively serve low and moderate income people for a specified period.

While the Small Rental program provided eligible participants up to $40,000 in forgivable loans per unit, requiring a five-year low/mod rental requirement, the Neighborhood Rental Restoration Program will provide up to $70,000 per unit with a 10-year low/mod compliance. Unlike Small Rental Rounds I and II, the Neighborhood Rental Restoration program applies exclusively to rehabilitation and conversion of existing structures in existing neighborhoods.

Eight workshops are planned for interested program applicants. Workshop times and locations can be found at www.msdisasterrecovery.com.

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