South Mississippi enters the 2009 hurricane season better prepared than in the past, but there are significant issues that remain unresolved from the disastrous 2005 hurricane season.
Here are three of the more pressing needs that deserve immediate congressional action.
HOUSING: There are roughly 5,000 low- and moderate-income individuals in South Mississippi who desperately need vouchers in order to afford rental units now available.
And while 5,000 is a large number, it pales in comparison to the more than 70,000 Mississippi households that moved into temporary facilities provided by FEMA following Katrina. That number has been reduced to approximately 2,000, and Congress should extend the Disaster Housing Assistance Program for one last effort to reduce the number to zero.
STENNIS SPACE CENTER: The former Army Ammunition Plant is in need of $114 million in repairs — $49 million of which is for damage caused by Katrina. To secure the plant, which cost $1 billion to build, for future use, Congress should repair it in order to protect its investment in this national asset.