September 16, 2013 8:13:01 AM
VICKSBURG -- A state housing official says Mississippi is among a very few states where requests for affordable housing tax credits outstrip the available money.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development pays for the credits to finance new construction and rehabilitation of existing sites to house low-income wage-earners, said David Hancock, vice president of federal reporting and research for Mississippi Home Corp.
"Mississippi is one of maybe three states that have a larger number of requests for tax credits in comparison to what we have available," he told a housing forum last week in Vicksburg. "We were able to fund 45 percent of the total number of applicants. There are states in the Northeast that give money back to the Treasury Department because they don't have as many requests."
The Mississippi Home Corp. oversees federal housing grants in the state. Last year, 17 developers got more than $6.6 million in tax credits for low-income housing, The Vicksburg Post reported.
Texas-based Brownstone Inc. won two awards to renovate rental property in Vicksburg -- the Aeolian and the former Carr Central school building. Both are slated to open in 2014, Aeolian for seniors and Carr for low-income families.
Hancock told the forum, organized by Vicksburg Warren Partners to Prevent Homelessness, that the agency doesn't finance programs tailored specifically to homeless people, but its prospective homebuyer programs do provide an opportunity to tackle the issue.
An initiative by Gov. Phil Bryant aims to create more low-income housing near hospitals, said Steve Hardin, director of the Mississippi Development Authority's community services division. Five planned areas for the program are in or around Jackson, near University Medical Center, Hardin said.