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Housing

 

General Resources
Single Family
Multi-Family/Renters
Low Income
Rural

Hazard Mitigation

 

General Resources

 

Comprehensive Housing Plan.  Governor Barbour's Comprehensive Plan for Gulf Coast Housing details the state's plan to address the critical housing needs of the MIssissippi Gulf Coast. 

 

FEMA.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Individual Assistance Program offers grants of up to $26,200 for housing assistance and unmet needs. Housing assistance includes:

  • Lodging assistance
  • Rental assistance
  • Home repair cash grant
  • Home replacement cash grant
  • Permanent housing construction in rare circumstances

SBA.  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Low Interest Loan Program provides up to $200,000 for home repair or replacement and up to $40,000 for contents replacement.  Additional loans are available for hazard mitigation purposes.  Applications are available through your Disaster Recovery Center (DRC).

 

Homeowner Grants.  The Mississippi Development Authority is administering the Homeowner Assistance Program, which is funded by $5.058 billion in Community Development Block Grants provided by Congress in the 2005 Supplemental Appropriations Bill.  The first phase of the program will provide up to $150,000 to residents who had homeowner’s insurance at the time of the event and whose homes were located outside the floodplain and were flooded as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Homeowners can still apply for the program. For more information related to the Homeowner Assistance Program, call the Homeowner Assistance Call Center at 1-866-369-6302 or visit one of the three service centers listed below.

  • Hancock County Government Complex, 3068 Longfellow Drive, Building 6A, Bay St. Louis
  • Prime Outlets - Gulfport, 10000 Factory Shops Blvd., Gulfport
  • Singing River Mall, 2800 US Highway 90, Suite 1382, Gautier              

The Phase II of the Homeowner Assistance Program will help low to moderate income homeowners (less than 120% of the Area Median Income) whose homes were damaged by the storm surge. These homeowners are either uninsured or under-insured and can be either inside or outside the flood plain. These homeowners will receive a subsidy of up to $100,000 to fill the gap between the cost of rebuild/repair and the homeowner’s ability to pay. This subsidy also will be available to homeowners who choose to sell the damaged property and relocate somewhere else within the lower six counties in Mississippi. To be eligible for the subsidy, the homeowner must agree to stay in the home for at least five years, either on the pre-Katrina site or in the relocated home. Homeowners with special needs will be eligible for 100% of their uncompensated damage. Eligible homeowners may also receive a separate grant of up to $30,000 to defray the costs of elevating their homes.

 

Available Rental Housing. The Mississippi Disaster Referrals website offers housing search services to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Mississippi Cottage.  The June supplemental bill passed by Congress authorized the use of $400 million for FEMA to develop an alternative to the travel trailer as a temporary housing solution.  This was in response to the State of Mississippi's proposal to replace travel trailers with cottages known as the "Mississippi Cottage."  For more information on this project, click here.

 

Disaster Contractors Network.  In partnership with several public and private organizations associated with the building construction community, the Disaster Contractors Network (DCN) has been activated for the State of Mississippi.  The DCN website is designed to help connect contractors and homeowners/business owners who need repairs after disasters and can serve to connect building contractors with need subcontractors and material vendors.  Homeowners can use the site to find professional services, materials and labor to meet their needs. 


HUD.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development works to increase home ownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination.  HUD offers several resources for hurricane-related housing needs.

 

The Mortgage Insurance for Disaster Victims - Section 203(h) program allows the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure mortgages made by qualified lenders to victims of a major disaster who have lost their homes and are in the process of rebuilding or buying another home.


HUD’s Mortgage Assistance Initiative pays mortgage payments for up to one year for residents with FHA-insured mortgages who want to start living in their homes again. 


HUD USER provides housing research and information on important housing and community development issues.

 

Mississippi Home Corporation.  The Mississippi Home Corporation is a governmental instrumentality, separate and apart from the State, charged with raising funds from private investors to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of residential housing for persons of low to moderate income in the State.

 

GO Zone.  The Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 provides housing-related tax incentives for hurricane-affected areas.                    


Energy Efficiency.  The Energy Policy Act (EPACT) of 2005 includes federal tax credits to promote energy efficiency in the household.  Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in the home can receive tax credits.

 

Federal Home Loan Bank.  The Federal Home Loan Bank has several disaster relief programs directed toward housing. 


Habitat for Humanity.  Habitat for Humanity International brings families and communities in need together with volunteers and resources to build decent, affordable homes. 

 

 

 

Single Family

 

Mississippi Home Corporation.  Mississippi Home Corporation has several programs directed toward single-family housing:

  • Mortgage Revenue Bond - The 2007A bond issue includes a pool of funds available to those purchasing homes in Jackson, Harrison, Hancock, Pearl River, Stone and George counties and to homebuyers directly affected by Hurricane Katrina. The mortgages will carry an interest rate of 5.70%, and a 3% cash advance to assist in down payment and closing costs is included in the program.
  • Mortgage Credit Certificate - Provides for a reduction in the amount of Federal Income Tax to be paid by a borrower, improving the borrower’s qualifying ratios.
  • Down Payment Assistance Loan - Used in conjunction with any FHA mortgage loan to assist the borrower by providing 3% down payment (second mortgage) funds available to purchase a home.
  • Housing Counseling and Home Buyer Education - Homebuyer education is available to anyone interested in buying a home, regardless of income or credit history. 
  • HB530 Construction Loan Fund - Provides financing to developers for the construction of low to moderate-income Single-Family Eligible Residential Housing Units.
  • Home Of Your Own (HOYO) - Provides individuals with disabilities grants up to $15,000 for the purchase or retrofitting of an existing house or construction of a new home.
  • Housing for Teachers (HAT) - Provides up to $6,000 for the purchase of a home for teachers who agree to teach for three years in an area deemed critical shortage by the Mississippi Department of Education.

 

USDA Rural Development.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has several rural housing programs that address single-family housing in towns with a population of 25,000 or less.  USDA rural housing programs include:

  • Single Family Home Ownership Direct Loan
  • Single Family Home Ownership Guaranteed Loan

For information on these programs, visit the “Our Programs” section of U.S. Department of Agriculture – Mississippi Rural Development Website.


Mississippi Development Authority.  MDA’s Single Family Residential Housing Fund provides funds for housing developers to construct affordable single-family homes at a low interest rate.


HUD.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers 203(k) Mortgage Insurance for homebuyers. 

 

 

 

Multi-Family / Renters

 

Available Rental Housing. The Mississippi Disaster Referrals website offers housing search services to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

 

Mississippi Home Corporation. MHC has information on programs directed toward the construction of affordable rental housing.  The Housing Tax Credit Program is a federal income tax credit incentive available to owners of residential rental properties that are rented to low to moderate-income tenants at below market rents.  The Financial Institution Housing Opportunity Pool is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit created by lenders and MHC to make mortgage loans to rental developments constructed under the Housing Tax Credit program.


HUD.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides rental assistance to tenants under the HOME Investment Partnerships Program.


The HOME Investment Partnerships Program also provides assistance for homebuyers and developers of multi-family housing units.


USDA Rural Development.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers programs for the development of multifamily housing.  Section 515 Multi-Family Housing and Section 538 Guaranteed Multi-Family Housing programs can be used to build or purchase multi-family housing.


The Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant programs provide safe, affordable rental housing for farm workers living on or near the land where they work. 


For information on these programs, visit the “Our Programs” section of U.S. Department of Agriculture – Mississippi Rural Development Website.

 

 

 

Low Income

 

Mississippi Home Corporation.  MHC offers the Mississippi Affordable Housing Development Fund for the development, construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing. The HB530 Construction Loan Fund provides financing for the construction of low to moderate-income Single-Family Eligible Residential Housing Units.


Housing Tax Credit (HTC) is a credit or reduction in tax liability each year for 10 years for owners and investors in affordable-income rental housing that is based on the costs of development and the number of qualified affordable-income units. 


The New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) Program permits taxpayers to receive a credit against federal income taxes for making qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs).

 

Mississippi Development Authority.  The Public Housing Program will assist the five Housing Authorities located on the Gulf Coast with rebuilding and reconstructing public housing that was damaged or destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina. More than 90 percent of the nearly 2,700 public housing units operated by these five authorities were damaged in the hurricane, with approximately 10 percent of their units being totally destroyed. The state has set aside $100 million to restore these public housing units on at least a “one-to-one basis.” Mississippi’s plan will distribute grants to each housing authority based on the proportionate damage done to their respective housing stock. The housing authorities receiving these grants may use the funding to leverage other available resources in developing affordable housing targeting low- and very low-income residents. The housing authorities may use the grants to rebuild and/or repair units that existed before the storm or to develop new multi-family properties that contain replacement units that target persons or families who earn 60 percent or less of the area’s median income.

 

MDA’s Housing Revolving Loan Fund provides low interest loans for the production and acquisition of single-family units for home ownership for low and moderate-income persons. Emergency Shelter Grants Programs are used to provide comprehensive services to homeless individuals and for homeless prevention efforts.


HUD.  HUD’s Supportive Housing Program is designed to develop supportive housing and services that will allow homeless persons to live as independently as possible.


USDA.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers the Housing Preservation Grant, which provides grants to counties, towns and nonprofits to repair or rehabilitate low-income housing.  The Single Family Home Repair Grant and Loan Program helps very low-income families remove health and safety hazards from their homes, and also allows families to make repairs to their homes. 


For information on these programs, visit the “Our Programs” section of U.S. Department of Agriculture – Mississippi Rural Development Website.

 

 

 

Rural

 

USDA.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers several programs directed at housing for farmers, rural areas and towns with a population of less than 25,000.


The Farm Labor Housing Loan and Grant programs provide safe, affordable rental housing for farm workers living on or near the land where they work. 


For information on these programs, visit the “Our Programs” section of U.S. Department of Agriculture – Mississippi Rural Development Website.

 

 

 

Hazard Mitigation

 

FEMA.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides several programs to lessen the impact that disasters have on people’s lives and property. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency oversees mitigation efforts for the State of Mississippi through its Mitigation Office and prepared the State Hazard Mitigation Plan.

 

The Hazard Mitigation Grant Program provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures after a major disaster declaration.  The purpose of the program is to reduce the loss of life and property due to natural disasters and to enable mitigation measures to be implemented during the immediate recovery from a disaster.


The Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program assists states and local governments in implementing cost-effective hazard mitigation activities that complement a comprehensive mitigation program. 


The Flood Mitigation Assistance Program provides funding to assist states and communities in implementing measures to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk of flood damage to buildings, manufactured homes, and other structures insurable under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) includes Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage for all new and renewed Standard Flood Insurance Policies.  Flood insurance policyholders in Special Flood Hazard Areas can get up to $30,000 to help pay the costs to bring their home or business into compliance with their community’s floodplain ordinance.


SBA.  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Low Interest Loan Program provides an additional loan of up to 20% of the home loan value to protect the property from future disasters. 

 

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes.  The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation.  FLASH provides a wealth of information concerning safeguarding homes from natural disasters, including materials on strengthening doors, walls, windows and roofs against hazardous weather.

 

Mitigation Assessment Team.  Under the Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) Program, FEMA seeks to increase damage resistance through improvements in codes and standards, designs, methods and materials used for new construction and post-disaster repair and recovery.  MAT teams evaluate the performance of buildings and infrastructure in response to the effects of natural and manmade disasters, and develop mitigation recommendations with local and state officials.  The recommendations address improvements in building design and construction, code development and enforcement, and mitigation activities that will lead to a greater resistance to hazard events. 

 

FEMA has prepared several resources through the MAT Program that address coastal design and construction:

 

  • Coastal Construction Manual - Principals and Practices of Planning, Siting, Designing, Constructing, and Maintaining Residential Buildings in Coastal Areas
  • Coastal Construction Technical Fact Sheets - Technical guidance and recommendations concerning the construction of coastal residential buildings
  • Summary Report on Building Performance: Hurricane Katrina 2005 - Observations, conclusions and recommendations on the performance of buildings and other structures impacted by Hurricane Katrina flood and wind forces
  • Hurricane Katrina Recovery Advisories - Guidance for building design, construction and restoration

 

Best Practices.  FEMA's Best Practices and Case Studies Portfolio offers success stories about mitigation ideas, activities and projects, including mitigation funding sources.  Several Mississippi homeowners utilized hazard mitigation techniques from FEMA that saved their homes during Katrina, even while everything around them was destroyed:

  • House Built to Code Survives Katrina
  • Elevating a Brick Home: A Mitigation Success Story
  • Pass Christian House Stands Strong Against Katrina
  • Diamondhead Home: A Mitigation Blueprint
  • Katrina's Challenge: A Small Elevated Home
  • Only House Left Standing: Building Code Saves House

 

Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing.  The Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), a public-private partnership based in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is dedicated to accelerating the development and use of technologies that radically improve America's housing.  Part of PATH's vision includes reducing the risk of loss of life, injury and property from natural hazards in the future.  Working with other government agencies and insurance professionals, PATH explores strategies for solving issues facing the housing industry by promoting stronger, quality housing that can withstand natural disasters. 

 

PATH offers a variety of guides and tools for homeowners and builders:

 

  • Disaster Resistance
  • Storm-Resistant Tech Sets
  • Hurricane Retrofit Strategies
  • Best Practices for New Construction
  • Technologies to Speed Rebuilding
  • Flood Recovery
  • Listing of Technology