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Feud Brews Over Katrina Housing Funds

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi agency wants to divert
hundreds of millions of dollars from a Hurricane Katrina housing
fund to a port restoration project.

The proposal has outraged advocacy groups who say the plan
shortchanges thousands of people still homeless on the Gulf Coast.

The Mississippi Development Authority is proposing taking 600
million dollars from Governor Haley Barbour's Homeowners Assistance
Grant Program, to restore public infrastructure and publicly owned
facilities at the State Port at Gulfport. That's more than
a-quarter of the money still in the program, which is funded by
federal grants.

Part of the homeowners assistance program is dedicated to
low-income and working poor people. One activist calls the plan
"just unfair." He says "Don't rob the displaced to build a
port." Thousands of families still live in FEMA trailers and
affordable rental property is scarce.

The proposal needs approval from the U.S. Department of Housing
and Urban Development.


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