Home Builders' Workshop Held In Biloxi

Many of the people who will be involved in the building of the 70 thousand homes packed the room at the Imperial Palace.

This was a conference to address housing construction issues in our post katrina world.

The housing business is facing some tough obstacles.

Michael Fearn, a builder and developer says, "The biggest challenge has been what?  Labor, labor."

And it's not just getting workers but materials. Then there are regulatory issues, but keynote speaker, Governor Haley Barbour, made it abundantly clear. Yeah, there are challenges, but the opportunities are incredible.

"A lot of money is going to be made down here.  A lot of people need housing, and they want to get it as fast as they can get it," Govenor Barbour says.

The governor also said, though plenty of people have not received their insurance money, many have, and much of it will spent on new housing.

"As of the first of May, our citizens have received more than 13 billion dollars of insurance proceeds and equivalents," says Govenor Barbour

To quote the governor, "Our banks are filled with money."

He says the average bank on the coast has seen deposits go up an astounding 60 percent.

Governor Barbour closed his comment with his familiar refrain, that we will be bigger and better. But he made it clear, we will need the help of all of the builders in the area.

"I would suggest to you, quite sincerely there is not an industry more important to our doing that, than the home building industry," says Govenor Barbour.

Governor Barbour estimates it will take at least five years and maybe as many as ten to replace those 70-thousand homes destroyed by Katrina.