Leaders Hope New Year Brings New Outlook On Affordable Housing

Some South Mississippians are hoping leaders on the local level will do more in 2008 when it comes to affordable housing.

There are still thousands of Katrina survivors without an adequate place to live. Judy Farmer is one of those people. The mother and grandmother says Hurricane Katrina took a toll on her home and her health.

"I just stay depressed," Farmer said.

Now the former casino worker says she is giving up on the coast.

"I want out of Mississippi because it's messing my mind up. Everywhere I go the door closes. I gotta get out of here," Farmer said.

However, with mounting medical bills and a denial for social security income, she wouldn't qualify for affordable housing if it were available. That's why she's grateful she still has a FEMA trailer for at least a few more months, until she can figure out what to do and where to go.

While Judy remains hopeful, her daughter Angela Farmer says she is fed up with the federal and local government's response to low income families.

"A lot of us are out here struggling and we are about to be out on the street because FEMA is running out of funds and they're not thinking about that," Angela said.

Reilly Morse with the Mississippi Center for Justice agrees.

"It seems to me like people are trying to sweep some of the harder to solve problems under the rug. These are human beings that we are treating as if they are disposable," Morse said.

He says with start of the new year, he's hoping local and state leaders will remember their moral obligation to take care of everyone on the coast.

"Take a step back in time when we were all looking at devastation and recover some of that compassion that we had in the first few months," Morse said.

The MS Center for Justice provides free educational workshops to help Katrina victims. The first meeting of the new year will be January 10.