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MDA Makes Coastal Housing Database Available

From: MDA News Release   Filed 3/1/10  GCN

JACKSON --- Today the Mississippi Development Authority Disaster Recovery Division (MDA DRD) and the Gulf Coast Housing Resource Centers launched an online listing of all available affordable rental units provided through MDA’s Small Rental Assistance Program (SRAP), Public Housing Assistance and Long Term Workforce Housing (LTWH) programs.

“This initiative called, the Housing Entry and Resident Tracking or ‘HEART’, is an online repository of all available housing being provided by the state’s post-Katrina housing programs,” said Jon Mabry, Chief Operations Officer of MDA DRD, which administers more than $5 billion in federally-appropriated recovery funds for replenishing housing stock, rebuilding public infrastructure and retaining/creating jobs in the Katrina affected counties. “Having a user-friendly, one-stop shop readily available will be a great asset for all case-workers, renters and agencies charged with providing affordable housing.”

The listing can be viewed at www.heartms.org. Organizations providing services to clients who wish to obtain access to this database, can do so by completing the registration page.

“Through the Small Rental, Long Term Workforce and Public Housing programs, we’ve already been able to match thousands of people who need affordable housing to quality, affordable units,” Gerald Blessey, MDA’s Gulf Coast Housing Director said.  “However housing studies show there are still Gulf Coast residents who can benefit from these ongoing programs, especially with the federal housing vouchers Governor Barbour has secured to further assist very low income, deep subsidy renters.”

SRAP, LTWH and the Public Housing plans seek to go beyond replenishing the Coast’s affordable rental housing stock, but furthermore significantly improve the long-term quality and sustainability of affordable developments.

The LTWH, SRAP and Public Housing Assistance programs have already built, rehabilitated or helped finance about 5,000 low and moderate income units in Harrison, Hancock, Jackson and Pearl River counties. Coupled with housing choice vouchers, units produced by these programs are available for households with incomes ranging from zero up to 120 percent of the Area Median Income (AM I).

"The HEART database, among many other projects supported by MDA, is designed to foster communication and collaboration among organizations working to resolve the remaining unmet housing needs across the Mississippi Gulf Coast," said Lori West, Gulf Coast Community Resource Center Director.
The listings will be updated daily or as property becomes available.  Property owners or listing agents will manage their own properties on the website. The owners/ agents may upload pictures, detail property amenities, and make changes to their listings. Gulf Coast Community Resource Center is providing technical support to any property owner wishing to list available properties. You may reach International Relief and Development by calling 228-864-6677.

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