Jackson County Deems Family's New Home Unlivable

"I'm not a real good victim. They only way they'll get me out of my house is when the National Guard shows up out here with the tanks," Latimer homeowner Chuck Morris says.

Chuck and Darla Morris say they're not going anywhere. Jackson County Board of Supervisors voted this week to not grant variance to this $200,000 home, declaring it unliveable.

"That's where we came in at 39.1 which states here. And nowhere in here does it say build to 41 feet. It says your elevation is 41 feet. A number that's now a threat to the home's value," Darla Morris says.

"It was $500 worth of dirt in the foundation. I spent $50,000 more making the house strong. I certainly would have spent $500 in the foundation. And I've complied with all the other regualtions and followed all the other permits. I don't know what else I could do," Chuck Morris says.

Jackson County Supervisors are unwilling to compromise on the 1.9 feet. For the Morris Family, the difference is minimal, but the possibility of losing their home is huge.

"They're trying to make my home worthless," Chuck Morris says.  "All of the other inspections were done, and passed. They should be hooking up my electricity."

But not so fast: Singing River Electric disconnected power from the Morris's home. Without the county's blessing, it's lights out for this family. A generator is keeping the power on for now, but its usage is limited.

"I have to watch what I use at certain times because of the power. Because I don't have the sufficient electricity out here," Darla Morris says.

A problem Morris says has turned their dream home into a haunting reality.

"This is supposed to be the American dream, building and owning your own home. And it's more like the American nightmare," Chuck Morris says.

Jackson County Supervisor John McKay says while it's an unfortunate situation, the supervisors had to act in the best interest of the county. To keep other county residents from being penalized in insurance rates.

He says that FEMA is the only one who can grant an individual variance, because if the county allows just two homes to break the rules, all of Jackson County would be denied or suspended from FEMA's flood insurance program.