Mississippi plan to divert Katrina housing money draws more protests

We recently brought you the story of Mississippi's plan to divert $600 million in federal funds from a housing program for low-income homeowners hit by Hurricane Katrina to improve the state port at Gulfport.

Advocacy groups including Oxfam America, the Mississippi NAACP and the Mississippi Justice Center protested the proposal being pushed by the Mississippi Development Authority, we reported. Since then, others have joined in to express concerns about the diversion.

More than a dozen religious leaders with the Mississippi Coast Interfaith Disaster Task Force expressed their opposition to the plan with Gov. Haley Barbour; they also collected 2,000 signatures on a petition opposing the shift, the Sun Herald reports. And today, state lawmakers met with Mississippi Development Authority officials to express their concerns about the proposal, according to the Clarion Ledger.

Today is the last day for people to submit comments about the proposal. Comments may be e-mailed to actioned@mississippi.org, faxed to 601-359-9280 or mailed to Mississippi Development Authority, Attention: Disaster Recovery, P.O. Box 849, Jackson, Mississippi, 39205.