December 21, 2006
STATEMENT OF GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR
On meeting emergency housing needs
“Mississippi is prepared to demonstrate in this pilot project that more stable structures can be manufactured to better shelter people like the 80,000 Mississippians living in FEMA trailers and others who are displaced by major natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.
I am delighted that a panel of experts assembled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency recognized the merits of Mississippi’s proposal for alternative ways of meeting emergency housing needs and allocated more than $280 million to Mississippi for this project. We will be able to use the much-needed funding provided by Congress to develop safer and more livable emergency housing for thousands of Mississippians who have endured so much over the last year since the worst natural disaster in American history struck our coast.
As I testified before Congress more than a year ago, the primary purpose of Mississippi’s proposal is to show that travel trailers can be replaced with sturdier, more comfortable housing in the same time frame and at comparable total cost.
Companies interested in competing to build “Mississippi cottages” and similar housing will have the opportunity to make proposals. All contractors for the project will be chosen on a competitive basis. We will provide more details to local officials and interested parties after we are briefed by FEMA.
I appreciate the hard work of members of our state’s Congressional delegation, especially Senator Thad Cochran, who helped show the merits of our proposals to other decision-makers in Washington. I look forward to working with local officials, disaster victims, FEMA and the Bush administration, and other organizations to ensure the success of this program in Mississippi.”