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$280 Million Awarded for Mississippi ‘Katrina Cottage’ Program
From: Office of Sen. Trent Lott   Filed 12/21/06

The State of Mississippi will receive more than $280 million under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Alternative Housing Pilot Program in support of the “Katrina Cottages” initiative, which seeks to replace temporary FEMA trailers with more permanent, safer structures better resembling traditional homes.

“This is a giant step forward for Mississippi’s recovery and rebuilding effort,” Senator Lott said, following notification of the award today from the Department of Homeland Security.  “Helping people to live in a real home will speed Mississippi’s reconstruction efforts, not just in terms of restoring physical structures, but also by helping to improve the spirits of those still without a good home. It hastens the day when daily FEMA trailer and camp-style living will be just a distant memory to those who’ve coped with Hurricane Katrina’s lingering effect for 14 agonizing months.”

With the strong support of Senator Lott, Congress appropriated $400 million in the 2006 Emergency Appropriations Act for the Alternative Housing Program initiative, which provides the ability to

 examine recent and innovative approaches that may have the potential to meet housing needs in the aftermath of future national disasters.

Five states are eligible under this Alternative Housing Pilot Program: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi. Overall the states submitted 29 individual plans for funding.

A panel of experts from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the private sector reviewed the states’ submissions ultimately selecting five proposals for funding totaling $388 million among the eligible states, with $12 million set aside for administration and program evaluation.

“Mississippi’s delegation worked hard to ensure Mississippians received a fair share of these funds,” Senator Lott said. “That’s because, all along the coast, homes weren’t just damaged, but simply erased by Katrina, leaving home owners with literally nothing but a blank slab from which to begin rebuilding their lives.  Now, Katrina’s Mississippi victims have before them another alternative and a good opportunity to once again live the American dream in a true home.”

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