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In the immediate aftermath of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour appointed the Commission on Recovery, Rebuilding, and Renewal. In summer 2006, the commission asked the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute to describe the state of the pre-Katrina housing markets in Mississippi’s three coastal counties, to estimate the damage the storm did to their housing markets, to describe the status of the recovery effort, and to identify problems that might inhibit that recovery. The authors found that Katrina damaged about 60 percent of the three counties’ housing stock, but the extent and intensity of that damage varied substantially, depending on the source of that damage. The recovery process then got off to a slow start; the pace seems to have moved more rapidly for single-family than for multifamily units and for moderately than for severely damaged units. Recovery will take at least another two to three years, and the final costs will exceed $4 billion. Three issues will be critical to short-term recovery: construction-sector capacity; availability of funds to finance recovery; and an adequate supply of housing, especially affordable housing, for those whom the storm displaced from their residences. Finally, following through on intentions to implement longer-term mitigation plans seems to become more difficult as time passes since the storm.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Profile of the Pre-Katrina Housing Market

  • Chapter Three

    Damage Done to Housing Stock

  • Chapter Four

    Progress on Recovery

  • Chapter Five

    Key Issues

  • Appendix

    Methodology

This research was sponsored by Oxfam America, the Foundation for the Mid South, the Mississippi Association of REALTORS®, and the National Association of REALTORS and was conducted within the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute (RGSPI) — a partnership involving the RAND Corporation and seven universities in the Gulf of Mexico coastal region.

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