Governor Haley Barbour said today more than $1 billion in housing recovery assistance has been delivered to thousands of Coast families under a comprehensive homeowners grant program.

As of July 31, 2007 – just a year after funds were approved by the U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development – more than $976 million has been delivered under phase one of the Homeowners Assistance Grant Program. More than $30.6 million has been delivered under phase two; the combined total is more than $1 billion to 13,944 homeowners. In addition, more than 90 percent of eligible grants under phase one have been paid, even though new applications continue to be received; more than 1,900 new applications have been received since the beginning of the year.

“The Homeowners Assistance Grant Program is an integral part of our comprehensive plan to help Mississippians recover from the worst natural disaster in American history,” Governor Barbour said. “It’s an incredibly large undertaking and there have been some bumps in the road.
But the program is working to put more money into the hands of Coast homeowners to repair or rebuild more quickly and in a way never before attempted in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

In addition, Governor Barbour said the unprecedented program protects current and future homeowners through permanent covenants on the land requiring flood insurance, rebuilding to stronger building codes, and other higher standards.

Phase II of the program is well under way. By design it includes more steps, such as financial counseling.

The Homeowners Assistance Grant Program uses federal Community Development Block Grants to help homeowners located outside the flood plain whose homeowner’s insurance did not cover structural flood damage (phase one) and grants to low and moderate income homeowners who suffered storm surge damage to their primary residence regardless of whether they were insured or whether the property was inside or outside the federally-mandated flood zone (phase two).

Regular updates on this and other grant programs, which are managed by the Mississippi Development Authority, can be found by visiting www.mississippi.org.

Governor Haley Barbour Release
8/1/7