Katrina program halfway to goal

by Tacy Rayburn

Published: February 26,2010

Tags: disaster recovery, housing, Hurricane Katrina, MDA, real estate

The Mississippi Development Authority Disaster Recovery Division’s (MDA DRD) Small Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) has completed and received certificates of occupancy for more than 2,000 small rental units in less than two years, halfway to SRAP’s projected 4,000 unit goal.

SRAP, along with the state’s Long Term Workforce Housing and Public Housing Assistance programs, represents almost $1 billion committed by Gov. Haley Barbour to build or rehabilitate affordable housing throughout the coastal counties impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

SRAP provides forgivable loans, which serve as gap financing for owners of small rental properties. The owners agree to repair, reconstruct, or construct rental housing and rent to low to moderate-income families for a specified time. The loan is “forgiven” for applicants who satisfy all program requirements for the compliance period ranging from five to 10 years.

Rental units are available in locations throughout Hancock, Harrison, Jackson and Pearl River counties, many of which are some of the most storm-damaged neighborhoods.

SRAP has three components: Rounds one and two of SRAP are providing qualified landlords with up to $40,000 per unit, provided they rent to low and moderate income renters for five years. A third round, commonly called the Neighborhood Rental Restoration Program (NRRP), provides landlords up to $70,000 in per unit financing provided they rent to low and moderate income tenants for 10 years.

The funds are sourced from the state’s $5.4-billion congressionally-appropriated Katrina recovery package secured by Barbour and the state’s congressional delegation shortly after the storm.

To date, more than $3 billion of this package has been disbursed on recovery projects ranging from grants to individual homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed by Katrina to various projects to repair public facilities or sustain the area’s job base. The remainder is committed to ongoing projects to provide affordable housing, repair infrastructure or stimulate economic recovery.

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