State Diverting Katrina Funds Away from Housing | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

State Diverting Katrina Funds Away from Housing

With 6,000 people still living in FEMA trailers on the Coast, Mississippi officials are diverting Katrina funds away from needed housing, the Associated Press reports:

A contract soon will be signed with CH2M Hill, an international port engineering and consulting firm, to conduct a peer review of the port master plan, said Lee Youngblood, a spokesman with the Mississippi Development Authority, which is handling the federal money for most Katrina projects. "It would be unwise to begin restoration projects before that review is complete," Youngblood said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Friday. "It would also be unwise to have a hurricane recovery package for the Mississippi coast that doesn't address the Port of Gulfport restoration, and that's what we'd have without this funding."

His comments came the same week a group of lawmakers sent a letter to U.S. House leaders, asking that they insert language in an appropriations bill to prevent the state from using housing money for the port expansion. [...]

"I just think Congress sent the money to address what continues to be a serious, serious problem on the Gulf Coast and that is affordable housing," U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., one of the 13 House members to sign the letter, said Friday.

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