State-Issued Katrina Cottage Suits First Recipient Just Fine

The dog days of summer are a little more comfortable for Ginger and her owner since they moved into their new Katrina Cottage on Claiborne Street.

"I feel pretty good about it. I've got us a place to live, more room," Katherine St. Amand said.

Up until late last month, Katherine and Ginger lived in a FEMA trailer. Their cottage is the first one distributed by the state, and it's fully furnished. While the cottage is more spacious and has nicer amenities, Katherine's had to make some adjustments.

"I like it all. I've got to get used to the stove. First time I tried to cook me a pot of beans on this stove, I turned it on high, then went back there and turned on the TV. All of a sudden, I heard stuff going all over the place, and it was my bowl of beans blowing up," St. Amand.

But Ginger's adjusted quite well.

"She runs up and down the halls. We go out on the porch and sit. We have a good time, huh, G?" St. Amand said.

Like all those randomly selected, Katherine will only live in the cottage for a limited amount of time. She plans to rebuild her home on Claiborne Street, but in the meantime, she's enjoying the roof she and Ginger have over their heads.

"We don't want to move. We want to stay here, huh, G. She likes that porch with the swing. She likes sitting out there and just rocking," St. Amand said.

As for Ginger, she doesn't seem to be missing a beat in her new home. She gave our photographer a high five and a big smile on the way out.

The cottages are part of the Mississippi Alternative Housing Program. It's a two year pilot program funded through a $280-million federal grant, and is administered by MEMA.

Recipients of the cottages are selected through a lottery system.