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HUD Accepts $350 Million Mississippi Plan to Produce Thousands of Affordable Housing Units for Working Families
From: HUD News Release   Filed 6/25/08  GCN

WASHINGTON – U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston today accepted a $350 million plan by the State of Mississippi to produce thousands of affordable housing units for working families who continue to experience a chronic housing shortage in the State. Mississippi’s Long Term Workforce Housing Plan will provide grants and loans to local communities, nonprofit organizations and private developers to produce approximately 12,000 affordable homes in Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Pearl River counties.

Mississippi’s final plan was provided to HUD for its review on May 30th. The funding to support the plan is part of $5.4 billion in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) assistance the Department allocated to Mississippi following the Hurricanes of 2005.

“It’s been nearly three years since Hurricane Katrina wiped out much of the housing stock in South Mississippi and working families continue to struggle to find a decent home,” said Preston. “This plan will inject critically needed capital into the Mississippi housing market, offering hope and a home to thousands of these families.”

Tens of thousands of Mississippi homes were damaged or destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The vast majority of the displaced residents earn less than 120 percent of area median income. The Mississippi plan accepted today is designed to ensure that significant portions of affordable units are created within mixed-income neighborhoods to assist working families. The State intends to create these mixed-income communities by fostering market rate rental units in properties that will also serve a range of low-income households or by supporting single-family homes in the developments with a range of affordable housing.

Last September, Mississippi issued a Request for Proposal that sought qualified individuals and non-profits and for profit entities to develop Long Term Workforce Housing programs. These projects are projected to produce approximately 12,000 affordable housing units in the targeted counties.

Projects funded through Mississippi’s Long Term Workforce Housing Plan may include one or more of the following activities:

  • The purchase of blighted, deteriorating, undeveloped or underdeveloped property;
  • The purchase of property for appropriate rehabilitation or conservation;
  • The purchase of property to be rehabilitated and used or sold for residential purposes;
  • Direct assistance to facilitate and expand homeownership among low- and moderate-income persons;
  • Evaluation and remediation of lead based paint hazards;
  • Essential repairs needed to maintain the habitability of housing units acquired through tax foreclosure in order to prevent abandonment and deterioration of such housing in primarily low- and moderate-income neighborhoods;
  • Technical assistance to public and nonprofit entities to increase the capacity of such entities to carry out eligible neighborhood revitalization or economic development activities; and
  • Establish a revolving loan fund to provide short-term, low-interest financing for the production of workforce housing.

To read the full text of Mississippi’s Long Term Workforce Housing Plan, visit HUD’s website.

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