Proposed Historic District Could Mean Grants for Eligible Homeowners

Some homes in Pascagoula are getting the chance at a special designation that might help residents building back after Katrina.

Dozens of homeowners in select areas are part of a newly proposed historic district.

If approved, that new designation could give eligible homeowners grant money to help them build back.

"This is the original Ingall's subdivision," Joy Henry says.

Joy Henry's home on McHenry Street is one of about 40 homes in Pascagoula's newly proposed historical district.

"This house was built it 1914, and we're trying to preserve it as much as we can because of the age of it. Katrina liked to have taken it," Henry says.

Henry knows she and her husband still have a lot of work to do on their storm damaged home, but she hopes a little financial help will help speed up the process.

"We need to redo the porch and the steps and stuff like that. We're hoping maybe the grant can help us enough that we can get all the rest of it done," Henry says.

If this neighborhood becomes an official historical district, storm repairs like those at Joy Henry's home would be paid for by with funds from the federal government.

"It's primarily for the restoration and stabilization. If the house had to be leveled or if you had to have a new roof put on, it would help in that matter," says Liz Ford with the Pascagoula Historic Preservation Commission.

Debris still sits outside homes that were ravaged by Katrina a little more than a year ago.

Henry hopes the grants can help salvage the houses and the lives of people who've called this neighborhood home for decades.

"This storm took a toll on them that they'll never get over, no matter what they do. They just will not get over it. I do wish they'd make this historical. This is a part of Pascagoula that can never be rebuilt again," Henry says.

Liz Ford says within the next month, homeowners will be notified, and a public hearing will be scheduled.

From there, a formal application will be submitted to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Then, if approved, grants will be awarded on a case by case basis.

To fin out if your Pascagoula home qualifies for this newly proposed historic district call (601) 576-6940.