The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 6/22/8

No one disputes the fact that housing is the No. 1 priority for the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Gov. Haley Barbour, when asked about the top three needs after Katrina, would often reply: “Housing, housing and housing.”

Significant progress has been made in the past three years, but there is much work remaining to be done.

But the current dispute over using federal Housing and Urban Development Block Grant money to help repair and rebuild the Port of Gulfport appears to be more about politics than housing.

A group of Democrats in Congress, including Mississippi’s 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Bolton, are seeking to stop the Barbour administration from using $600 million in block grant money for the port, saying it was intended for low-income housing needs.