A new round of funds will be available in the next budget year for the HOME grants, a housing rehabilitation program which will replace substandard housing for a few families in a qualifying neighborhood. Copiah County has participated in this program in the past but missed out on funding in the previous round.
The board of supervisors agreed to advertise for a public hearing and request proposals for administrators to pursue funding in the next round of $16 million when it is available.
There is stiff competition for funding in this program, which is available to both cities and counties. Although Copiah County nearly qualified for a grant last time before funds ran out, they will have to start from scratch with the new application, explained Bill Coker, administrator of the previous grant.
The program relies heavily on census data to select substandard houses which score more highly in the application process if they are relatively close together, such as in the same census block, in an impoverished area.