MS Grant Statistics
Legalities Slow Katrina Housing Grant Program
POSTED: 8:50 am CST January 4, 2007
GAUTIER, Miss. -- A Gautier homeowner is still awaiting a grant from Mississippi's $3 billion Homeowner Grant Program to complete repairs on her home from Hurricane Katrina-related damage.
Chandretta Lewis told the Mississippi Press newspaper that she's not thrilled with the amount she's due to receive but will accept it to complete repairs such as installing sinks and steadying an unbolted toilet.
The only thing delaying Lewis from receiving the grant is that her ex-husband hasn't signed off on the state's required documents.
Lewis must have her ex-husband's blessing since his name was also on the title of the home when Katrina hit in August of 2005, according to officials with the state agency in charge of the Homeowner Grant Program.
The couple divorced in September.
Asked how many grant applicants have had similar title troubles, Mississippi Development Authority spokeswoman Melissa Medley said there have been several. She said the agency tries to work with them on a case-by-case basis.
11/18 Checks Given
* The state has sent out 5,701 checks to Mississippi Gulf Coast homeowners who suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina, program supervisors said Thursday
8/5 - MS Homeowner Grant Red Tape
The process will take time. The MS Development Agency says it will soon start sending out as many as 500 notices a day and that will take at least 34 days. It is the closing meetings that will take time. Homeowners have to appear in person at the closings to sign documents. If the MDA can handle a hundred closings a day, and each takes 15 minutes, which is an optimistic speed, it will take at least eight months to process all the claims. It is likely that many homeowners will not see a check any sooner than well into next year
7/30 - Grant Writing Forums
From WLOX http://www.wlox.com/Global/story.asp?S=5143186
Recovery and rebuilding for non-profit organizations means learning to look for more funding sources.
The Mississippi Center for Non Profits held a grant writing blitz at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College's Gautier campus Wednesday. Organizers say there's money available from the government and businesses for groups that help others, but members must know the right procedures in order to get the funds.
"There's billions of dollars out there. There is so much money in so many different areas, and without research, without knowing where to go to look for funds, it will never be utilized. It will just sit there," grant writer Mary Ann Louis said.
If you want more information on the next grant writing seminar, call (601) 968-0061 or click here to reach the Mississippi Center for Non-Profits. (www.msnonprofits.org)
From Leslie of Katrina's Angels
FEMA provides another $13M in public assistance inMississippi
BILOXI, Miss. - An additional $13 million in publica ssistance grants have been approved for Hurricane Katrina recovery programs in Mississippi, U.S. Sens. Trent Lott and Thad Cochran, both R-Miss., announced Friday.
The largest single grant, for $4.4 million, will help the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi replace the heavily damaged Mercy Cross High School. The diocese plans to rebuild the school outside the flood plain.
"This is the latest installment of federal grant assistance targeted toward restoring Mississippi's communities hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina," Lott said in a statement.
Other grants announced were:
_ Hancock County, $2 million, to restore about six miles of public beaches along U.S. 90 shoreline.
_ Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission, $3.2 million, for repairs to 1.2 miles of unstable, bent railroad track near the Port Bienville IndustrialPark.
_ City of Gulfport, $1.6 million, for a special biohazard team to remove and dispose of about 2 millions pounds of raw chicken and pork that spilled onto public and private property from damaged shipping containers.
_ Diamondhead Water and Sewer District, $1.9 million, to repair the area's damaged sewer system.
The grants are part of FEMA's Public Assistance program, which provides financial assistance to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations for disaster-related cleanup and rebuilding efforts. The grants help rebuild or restore buildings and infrastructure to pre-disaster condition
Found on the Clarion Ledger
HUD funds sent to Mississippi:
$3 billion: Grants of up to $150,000 for uninsured or underinsured flood victims.
$250 million: Grants of up to $30,000 for homeowners to defray the cost of raising homes to meet new elevation requirements.
$5 million: To help Hancock, Harrison, Pearl River and Jackson counties pay for added costs of permitting and building inspectors for one year.
$5 million: Creation of the Katrina Fraud Prevention and Investigation Team to help prevent fraud.
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson said Monday that his agency has released $3 billion to Mississippi to help thousands of homeowners recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The release of the funds means thousands of qualified homeowners in Mississippi will soon be receiving up to $150,000 to help them recover from Hurricane Katrina.
The remaining $2 billion in CDBG funding will be made available to Mississippi once the state submits an amendment to its action plan for HUD's review, Jackson said in a statement.
"Today, we take another step closer toward helping make Mississippi homeowners whole again," said Jackson. "Throughout this process, Mississippi was intent on getting this money to the very people who need it most. I'm confident that with the appropriate safeguards in place, Mississippians have created a homegrown plan to rebuild their local communities."
The first of thousands of Katrina housing grant checks are expected to be mailed out this week.
J.E. Giveans Sr. of Pearlington hopes he and his wife get one of the grants.
Giveans, an 81-year-old retired carpenter, is building a 24- by- 36-foot home after losing everything in the storm.
The Giveanses haven't been able to get much from their insurance company, and they would have been unable to pay back a Small Business Administration loan on their fixed income.
Giveans said they met with representatives of the Mississippi Development Authority last month but have not heard yet if they have been approved.
"We need help on this," Giveans said. "We didn't even owe on our home, and we lost everything. We lost 56 years of our life."
The grants are going to homeowners who lived outside the federal flood plain but lost their houses to Katrina's water. Louisiana is conducting a similar grant program.
The MDA, which is administering the grants, began taking applications in April. More than 16,500 people have applied.
HUD's release of the funds appears to have settled complaints from mortgage companies and watchdog groups that homeowners might be more susceptible to con artists and scammers and the arrangement will mean many hard-hit neighborhoods won't be rebuilt.
Gov. Haley Barbour has said one reason for giving the money directly to homeowners is it would allow them to relocate to higher ground, if they so choose.
Barbour has said the grants would still be subject to mortgage and other liens, similar to insurance payments.
Barbour was pleased that HUD sided with the state, he said Monday through spokesman Pete Smith.
"Today's release of funds will get essential money into the hands of coastal homeowners who desperately need the help and are ready to rebuild," Smith said.