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  • Finding a loan is a challenge for many Mississippi residents. Lenders, scared by the recent housing and debt crisis, have tightened their loan eligibility requirements. This means low and very low-income workers often find it impossible to find the finances to buy their own home. Federal and state programs are available for Mississippi residents and businesspeople.

    The United States Department of Agriculture provides mortgage help for residents in rural areas. Rural areas are generally defined (although there is some flexibility) as municipalities with 10,000 residents and less. Besides the general programs applicable to all rural residents the USDA provides (section 502 Direct Loan) special help for residents affected by Hurricane Katrina. This help applies to residents affected by Katrina in Mississippi, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana– $17.8 million go for Mississippi while another $178 million will be allocated to 49 counties in the affected area.  The USDA also guarantees loans for single family housing, whether to build or purchase.

    Homeowners with properties in need of repair can apply for the Section 504 Repair Loan and Grant. This program provides loans to low and very low income families. Senior citizens 62 and over are eligible for added programs with a total of $50 million dollars set aside for financing.

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    For more information on USDA housing programs visit the USDA’s official website.

    The Small Business Association also has special programs for residents in disaster areas in the State of Mississippi. These programs, although not as heavily funded as other larger programs, seek to fill the gap between larger federal programs and insurance compensation in the most affected areas. The programs offer subsidized loans for homeowners with rates as low as 2.687% and terms of up to 30-years. These loans are designed to help towards the repair of real estate not covered by insurance. This includes the deductibles paid toward insurance claims. For more information on these and other programs call the Federal Emergency Management Agency at 1-800-621-3362 and ask for information on the SBA loans program or visit SBA’s official website.

    Continue reading our next article for information on two mortgage aid programs providing help in the state of Mississippi: the Mississippi Home Corporation and the Housing and Urban Development Department.

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