Biloxi, MS

Biloxi City Council set to remove FEMA trailers

June 12, 2009
BILOXI, Miss. - June 12 - Despite President Barack Obama's decision to allow residents living in FEMA Trailers to remain in their trailers while the federal government partners with residents to find permanent housing[1], the Biloxi City Council is preparing to take action to kick these hurricane survivors out of their city. The Biloxi City Council will vote June 16th on an ordinance, backed by the City's community development office[2], forcing FEMA trailers to be removed from residential zones by August 9th. Housing and human rights advocates have denounced the proposed ordinance as another step in the victimization and marginalization of residents with disabilities, low income, elderly, immigrant, and minority survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by their elected officials.
     Chuck Rogers, a long-time Biloxi resident is currently living in a trailer on Redding Street as he works with Hope Community Development Agency, a community-based nonprofit working to find permanent homes for Katrina survivors, to redesign a new home for his lot. He is eager to move out of his trailer but now fears the city council ordinance will set back his plans to rebuild saying, "I'm just trying to do the best I can to build to the future."
     "I think it's important that the city recognizes that everyone has not recovered completely from Katrina and that a number of people are still working on their homes," said Ward 2 Councilman Bill Stallworth, an outspoken critic of the ordinance who also serves as Executive Director of Hope Community Development Agency. "It will be unconscionable for the city to throw its citizens onto the streets."

Steps members urge FEMA to extend deadline 12 months

January 22, 2007
On the eve of the President's State of the Union Address, members of the Steps Coalition urge FEMA to recognize the continuing state of emergency on the Gulf Coast and to immediately extend temporary housing a full year. Last Friday, at the zero hour before today's day of action in communities all along the Gulf Coast, FEMA announced a six-month extension. This is significant progress. Unfortunately, it will not be enough to address the scope of the housing

Investigation reveals blatant housing discrimination on coast

February 27, 2004
Landlords in the business of screening potential tenants based on race, disability or family status have been put on notice to comply with the law or face the consequences.
     At a news conference on Thursday, the Gulf Coast Fair Housing Center revealed its findings regarding an investigation into rental practices in Jackson and Harrison Counties.
     For five months, the center sent people apartment hunting. Applicants with nearly identical salaries and credit histories would answer the same ad with one applicant being White and the other African American. In another scenario, one applicant would have children and the other wouldn't.

Mississippi prepares for flag vote

April 04, 2001
Mississippi voters are poised to make a historic decision: They'll be choosing a state flag, and in the process, passing judgment on the blue cross and stars of the Confederate battle emblem. 
     Supporters of the old Mississippi flag, flown over the state Capitol since 1894, say it represents their heritage and that removing the Confederate emblem from its corner would be an insult to the soldiers who fought for the South during the Civil War. 
     "What that flag means is freedom," Construction worker Justin McNamee of Jackson declared Tuesday at a news conference displaying both flags on the Capitol steps in Jackson. 
     Opponents say the 1894 flag represents the old South and its embracement of slavery. 

HUD tells Biloxi housing authority to make $25 million in repairs

March 12, 1998
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has ordered the Biloxi, Miss., Housing Authority to make $25 million in repairs to its public housing. Officials in charge of the authority say the demands are impossible to meet without more financial help from HUD, and they want HUD to take control of the authority. The Biloxi authority is part of the Region VIII Housing Authority, which is already under HUD investigation for allegedly segregating tenants by race.
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