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Louisiana officials look to Mississippi home assistance program to encourage building

Monday, February 22, 2010

People in Louisiana are looking at ways to encourage home construction in the state.
People in Louisiana are looking at ways to encourage home construction in the state.

Officials in Louisiana are considering a program that could help both people who want homes and those who use construction equipment to build them.

According to Louisiana newspaper Houma Today, representatives from Terrebonne Parish are considering a similar effort as put forward in six counties in southern Mississippi. The point of the program is to provide assistance to people who want to buy homes in the area.

In Mississippi's version of the program, about $60 million in funds from the federal government are being used to cover things like closing costs and down payments for about 750 first-time homebuyers in the state.

The paper noted that many banks have been reluctant to grant loans to homebuyers because of tighter credit conditions.

"Builders haven't been able to borrow money to construct homes and also have increased costs because of stricter state building codes since the 2005 hurricanes," the paper said.

Along with efforts contemplated at the state-level, the federal government has put forward a tax credit for first-time and repeat homebuyers. The credit expires on April 30.
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