Homeowner Grant Applicants Facing Rough Roadblock - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Homeowner Grant Applicants Facing Rough Roadblock

"It was a wonderful life, and a wonderful place to raise my 4 children," said Rachael Holloman, as she shared photos of her family.

That wonderful life in Waveland turned into a nightmare, the day Hurricane Katrina destroyed Holloman's home.

"Here I am, standing in front of what was left of my two-story, 5 bedroom home," Holloman said.

Holloman not only lost her house of 18-years, her alarm business also collapsed in the storm.

"We lived in a one bedroom apartment," Holloman said. "My 12 year-old son slept in a walk-in closet while we were waiting for the insurance money. Then we got denied, 100 percent."

FEMA stopped paying their rent, and the family needed a roof over their heads. So the Hollomans sold their Waveland property. They applied for the homeowner's grant, but found out too late about a condition, requiring the new owners of the land to sign a covenant.

"But the buyers refused to sign the current covenants for keeping flood insurance, because they are just speculating on the lot to sell," Holloman said. "I feel frustrated and hurt."

Then, another tragedy struck. Her husband, Clyde Holloman, passed away last year, leaving Holloman alone to repair a house she just bought in Biloxi.

"I need money to fix the house. I've got roof problems. I've got plumbing problems," Holloman said.

Holloman is longing for brighter days ahead. That's why she's pleading with the MDA to make some exceptions to the grant guidelines.

"I feel like my life is on hold right now," Holloman said. "I want to help Mississippi rebuild. I want to rebuild."

The covenant also requires the new land owner to follow the latest building codes, if they repair or rebuild houses. MDA spokesperson Jennifer Spann confirms there are other homeowners who are facing the same dilemma. She says anyone who has a problem with the covenant requirement can contact or visit a service center.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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