State's Disaster Grant Applications Not Ready - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

State's Disaster Grant Applications Not Ready

It will be several more months before anyone will see money from the state's homeowners assistance grants.

The state had promised Monday, February 20th would be the day Katrina victims could begin applying online to receive up to $150,000 in grant money to help rebuild homes.

Instead, the Mississippi Development Authority sent word that applications were not available because of the "fine tuning" of program regulations.

The hold up comes a month and a half after Governor Haley Barbour promised help for families to rebuild.

The MDA is administering the program, but since it's federal money through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, there are a lot of rules that have to be followed.

"We are a couple of weeks behind where we thought we would be. HUD was a bit later putting together their guidelines and we're having to make some changes according to that. And we're also going to be adding a comment period, about a one week comment period, so we make sure we get input from citizens, making sure we're putting together a program that fulfills their needs," Scott Hamilton with the Mississippi Development Authority explained.

Hamilton says there is no new timetable set for when the grant applications will be available. But after the application process begins, those eligible should see checks within four months.

For now, the best thing to do is get all the information and paperwork together you'll need for your application.

  • Contact information: Along with the address and phone number where the damages occurred, you will be asked for information on how MDA can contact you. It is very important that you provide MDA with your current mailing address and phone numbers where you can be contacted. Those with e-mail addresses should provide them as well.
  • Driver’s license number
  • Citizenship: You will be asked to provide information regarding your U.S. citizenship status.
  • Social Security number
  • Date of home purchase
  • Deed of Trust: You will be asked to provide a copy of the Deed of Trust or the name(s) listed on the Deed of Trust to your home, if different from your current name. If your home is a mobile home, you will be asked to provide the name(s) listed on the title, plus deed to the lot if applicable.
  • Insurance information: You will be asked to identify the type(s) of insurance coverage you have or had, including name of insurer, policy number, and amount of any claims paid.
  • Mortgage information: You will be asked to provide the name of your mortgage lender, loan number, and balance remaining for your primary mortgage, if any.
  • Secondary mortgage information: You will be asked to provide the name of your mortgage lender, loan number, and balance remaining for any secondary mortgage(s), home equity line(s) of credit, or other lien(s), if any.
  • SBA proceeds: You will be asked to provide information about any Katrina-related proceeds received from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for structural damage to your home.
  • FEMA proceeds: You will be asked to provide information about any Katrina-related proceeds received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for structural damage to your home.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)/Direct Deposit Information (optional): If you are determined to be eligible for assistance and would prefer that funds be transferred to your bank account, you will be asked for your banking information, which includes the institution name, type of account, routing and account number.
  • People who have or had homeowners insurance and flood insurance are eligible; all insurance proceeds will be deduced from grant amounts.

    One more note, if you begin repairs or rebuilding now, the grant money can be used to repay bank loans, SBA loans or out of pocket expenses. Just be sure to document the damage and save your repair receipts.

    You can always find the latest information about the disaster grant program on our Katrina Recovery page at WLOX.com

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