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Barbour: Housing still an issue

The state of Mississippi hopes to get everyone out of temporary housing in 2009 along the Gulf Coast.

More than two years after Hurricane Katrina, Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday, “the most pressing issue still facing Mississippians is finding affordable, permanent housing.”

His comments followed an awards ceremony at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum, where he recognized 40 employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, destroying the homes of more than 47,000 Mississippi families.

MEMA Director Mike Womack said 7,400 occupied FEMA travel trailers are in use across the state.

“That will be a real focus over the next year,” Womack said. “To get people out of temporary housing and into permanent housing. I think we will have the majority of families in permanent housing by this time next year.”