Barbour says more than $1 billion paid in recovery assistance

Published 4:14 pm Thursday, August 2, 2007

More than $1 billion in housing recovery assistance has been delivered to victims of Hurricane Katrina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Gov. Haley Barbour said Wednesday.

The assistance, more than $976 million delivered under phase one of the Homeowners Assistance Grant Program and $30.6 million under phase two, was given to 13,944 homeowners.

Ninety percent of eligible grants under phase one have been paid, Barbour said. However, new applications are coming in.

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“The Homeowners Assistance Grant Program is an integral part of our comprehensive plan to help Mississippians recover from the worst natural disaster in American history,” Barbour said. “It’s an incredibly large undertaking and there have been some bumps in the road. But the program is working to put more money into the hands of coast homeowners to repair or rebuild more quickly and in a way never before attempted in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”

Barbour said the program protects homeowners through covenants that require flood insurance, stronger building codes, and other higher standards.

Phase one of the grant program uses federal Community Development Block Grants to help homeowners located outside the flood plain whose insurance did not cover structural flood damage.

Phase two is for low and moderate income homeowners who had storm surge damage to their primary residence regardless of whether they were insured or whether the property was in a flood zone.