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MDA's Small Rental Assistance Program Exceeds 2,000 Units

From: MDA News Release    Lee Youngblood   Filed 2/24/10  GCN

JACKSON- The Mississippi Development Authority Disaster Recovery Division’s (MDA DRD) Small Rental Assistance Program (SRAP) has completed and received certificates of occupancy for more than 2,000 small rental units in less than two years, halfway to SRAP’s projected 4,000 unit goal.

SRAP, along with the state’s Long Term Workforce Housing and Public Housing Assistance programs, represents almost $1 billion committed by Governor Haley Barbour to build or rehabilitate affordable housing throughout the Coastal counties impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

“The addition of more than 2,000 affordable, attractive small rental units for low and moderate income residents bodes well for our recovery along the Gulf Coast,” Governor Haley Barbour said. “Coupled with about 3,000 Public Housing and Long Term Workforce Housing program units, our Katrina recovery housing programs have made available approximately 5,000 units to date, with thousands more in the works. Along with our Homeowner Assistance Program, which provided direct grants to almost 28,000 Coast residents, these housing initiatives have helped drive down Mississippi’s FEMA trailer count from almost 40,000 to only about 150 left in the Coastal counties today.”  

SRAP provides forgivable loans which serve as gap financing for owners of small rental properties. The owners agree to repair, reconstruct, or construct rental housing and rent to low to moderate income families for a specified time. The loan is ‘forgiven’ for applicants who satisfy all program requirements for the compliance period ranging from five to 10 years.

Rental units are available in locations throughout Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Pearl River counties, many of which are some of the most storm damaged neighborhoods.

“This is such a popular program because we’re rehabilitating homes in the occupants’ former neighborhoods,” said Nell Rogers, Small Rental Program Manager. “A large number of rental units are also in or near historic districts in the coastal counties, aiding the preservation of the historic neighborhoods’ character.”
The Small Rental Assistance Program has three components: Rounds One and Two of SRAP are providing qualified landlords with up to $40,000 per unit, provided they rent to low and moderate income renters for five years. A third round, commonly called the Neighborhood Rental Restoration Program (NRRP) provides landlords up to $70,000 in per unit financing provided they rent to low and moderate income tenants for 10 years.

The funds are sourced from the state’s $5.4 billion Congressionally-appropriated Hurricane Katrina recovery package secured by Governor Barbour and the state’s Congressional delegation shortly after the August 2005 storm.

To date, more than $3 billion of this package has been disbursed on recovery projects ranging from grants to individual homeowners whose properties were damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Katrina to various projects to repair public facilities or sustain the area’s job base. The remainder is committed to ongoing projects to provide affordable housing, repair infrastructure or stimulate economic recovery.
 

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