FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2007

 

CONTACT: TERRY R. CASSREINO
Phone:
(601) 969-2913
E-mail:
cassreino@msdemocrats.net


Bush overlooks suffering on Coast

JACKSON (Thursday, March 1, 2007) – While President Bush toured homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast today and declared “people’s lives are improving,” he overlooked one thing: Continued suffering of thousands of homeless residents.

Some people have managed to rebuild and move back into their homes. But thousands of other Mississippians continue to live in FEMA trailers waiting for financial help to piece their lives back together again.

“What about those folks?” asked Wayne Dowdy, chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. “How will President Bush help those people who continue to suffer 1½ years after Hurricane Katrina struck our state?”

As for the Mississippi Homeowners Assistance Grant Program – funded by the federal government, administered by the state of Mississippi and designed to help storm victims rebuild their homes – financial help continues to move at a rate too slow for many people.

On Wednesday, the Mississippi Development Authority, the state’s chief economic development agency that oversees the grant program, reported that 11,311 grants have been awarded even though 14,425 “eligible” people have applied for help.

The MDA actually received 17,916 grant applications but has disqualified 3,491 of them.

“Why is this process taking so painfully long?” Dowdy said. “It’s 1½ years since Katrina struck – we should be farther along with our recovery than we actually are. The needless delays and slowness of the grant program and other recovery efforts should anger everyone.”

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