HUD Audit Questions Mississippi’s Use of Katrina Recovery Monies

Mississippi Coast Post-KatrinaThe Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently completed an audit (in response to a Congressional request) of Mississippi’s use of millions of dollars in post-Katrina recovery monies on sewer utilities. The audit questions whether Mississippi Relied on some appraisals that did not meet required standards and led to $2.1 million in land purchases without assurance that the land was reasonably priced;Used overblown population growth projections to justify 67 facilities, the capacity of which was either too small or excessive, or that may not have been needed; andApproved more than $9.6 million of disaster funds for a facility, River Hill Wastewater Treatment Facility, based on an emergency requirement that was intended to facilitate expedited construction. However, this “emergency” construction didn’t occur until April 2009.Sadly, this comes as no surprise to those of us who monitored Mississippi’s use of HUD monies process post-Katrina. It was clear from the start that rather than address very real problems with existing waste water treatment facilities in coastal counties, the State used unrealistic population growth to justify water projects that benefited several proposed developments. As a result, existing sewage problem remain and many new facilities remain under or unused.This is not the only time the State played fast and loose with HUD post-Katrina recovery monies. As you may recall the State also tried to use HUD monies intended to provide low income housing to enhance the Port of Gulfport -they were stopped from doing so when the Mississippi Center for Justice filed suit.To read more about the audit go to: is GRN’s Executive Director

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