Housing Officials and Legislators Hope to Tackle Housing IssuesBy Daniel Cherry | Published 11 Oct 2011 08:00pm |
Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation and that means many residents face challenges finding adequate housing. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how housing officials are meeting with state legislators to address some of the most pressing issues.
Some studies suggest housing can have a part in lowering the spread of certain diseases and can even help the development of children. Senator Hillman Frazier of Jackson is the Chairman of the Senate Housing Committee. He's wanting to improve Mississippi's housing needs.
"I think everyone is entitled to decent housing in the state. We want to make sure that this committee does all that it can to make sure that this dream becomes a reality by accessing the available resources that we can in this state from the federal government and also other sources."
The Senate Housing Committee hosted a hearing yesterday to hear from housing officials so the legislators are up to speed before the upcoming 2012 session. Senator Frazier says there are some big concerns.
"They have a lot of needs in this state but not enough money to cover those needs. a lot of the federal funds are being cut right now, and that's really going to impact the folks in the state of Mississippi."
Mississippi is 25th in the nation for foreclosures, but there are programs aimed at keeping Mississippians in their homes.
Dianne Bolen is the Executive Director of the Mississippi Home Corporation. She says foreclosures are just part of their effort, but they're also using programs like Home Loan Plus grants to give low income, first-time home owning families a hand up.
"When you're at 80% or less of area median income, it's really hard for you to find a house that's within your cost range where you can afford the monthly payments. So they can take this close to $15,000 grant, and they can use it to buy down the loan amount."
Overcrowding, lack of proper plumbing, and high cost loans are all concerns housing officials are hoping to address in Mississippi.
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