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FOLKS, THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF NESARA!!! The US gov will pay 133 MILLION to KATRINA VICTIMS to address housing problems
ҨΕlizabeth Trutwin₪ on November 16, 2010 at 1:57pm
St Germain has ordered the release of Monies NOW!!! You are about to see One MIRACLE after another!!!
Lizzie Martin of Gulfport, Miss., hopes to benefit from a new program for Hurricane Katrina victims with housing problems. Ms. Martin, shown with her son George, lost her home in the storm.
By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
Published: November 15, 2010
GULFPORT, Miss. — Federal and state officials and housing advocates announced on Monday the creation of a $133 million program to address housing problems that remain for poor Mississippi residents five years after Hurricane Katrina.
The announcement comes after months of negotiations by officials from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Mississippi governor’s office and housing advocates on the coast, and could bring to a close a long-running dispute about the state’s spending of federal after the hurricane.
“We’re pretty happy about it,” said Reilly Morse, a senior lawyer at the Mississippi Center for Justice, a nonprofit group. But, Mr. Morse added, it did not come easy.
Housing advocates have long criticized the state for not spending enough of its $5.5 billion in money on low-income residents, but that criticism reached a fever pitch in 2007 when Mississippi announced it was redirecting $600 million of federal money to refurbish and expand the shipping port here.
Mr. Morse and a group of public-interest lawyers filed a suit against , charging that the diversion was an unlawful use of federal disaster money, especially with serious housing problems remaining. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in January, but the lawyers appealed the decision.
Mississippi had set up a variety of programs to address housing problems after the storm, and state officials argued that these were adequate. But in a series of meetings starting in April, housing advocates and HUD officials began to convince state officials that there were many Mississippians, especially poor ones, who had been left out.
“The assumption was that all of these unique programs were taking care of everything, including the hard cases,” said Gerald Blessey, a former mayor of Biloxi who was appointed by Gov. Haley Barbour to oversee post-hurricane housing issues. “When we started to look under the hood, we found that there was a number of hard cases that were not being taken care of.”
Over the summer, Mr. Morse worked with state officials to design a program around a list of 4,400 such hard cases in Mississippi. People in need of help had to fall below a certain income level and the problem had to be directly caused by the hurricane. In all the cases, some kind of adjustment needed to be made to the rules governing hurricane assistance.
Taking a random sample of these cases, estimators visited houses to assess damage. Based on those figures, they calculated that $93 million would be needed to close the financing gaps in the case list.
“Once the governor was convinced of that point by research and analysis, he was willing to make that move,” said Fred Tombar, a senior HUD official who oversees Gulf Coast recovery.
Mr. Morse and HUD officials also insisted that there were an unknown number of Mississippians who had been overlooked or had not applied for assistance, many of whom lived inland but nonetheless suffered severe damage from the storm. The governor agreed to set up an aggressive outreach program to find people who might qualify for assistance, and to set aside $40 million in a reserve fund for these cases.
All of the money in the new program comes from existing Hurricane Katrina assistance programs; any money left over in the reserve fund will join the nearly $600 million now dedicated to port expansion.
Some of the recipients will be poor residents whose homes were damaged or destroyed by hurricane winds, but who did not have homeowner’s insurance. This marks a departure from the assistance plan that Mr. Barbour put before Congress in 2005, which excluded people who did not have homeowners’ insurance. (The federal grants in this program were mainly directed to people whose homes were swamped by the storm surge, but who lived outside the federally designated flood plain and thus were not required to carry federal flood insurance.)
In a news conference on Monday, Mr. Barbour said this new program came about largely because HUD was willing to show flexibility on that point.
“This administration made the decision that they felt like people who were damaged by wind, even though we had made that agreement with Congress, should be covered if they were poor,” he said. “That is why there’s a change.”
Mr. Morse, however, said that the state had been reluctant to show flexibility and that it was the lawsuit that, to a large degree, had moved the discussions forward.
The appeal of the lawsuit was dropped when officials agreed to the creation of the new program at the end of October. Arguments were to have started last Friday in federal appeals court.