Hancock supervisors OK cottages going to nonprofits

Hancock County supervisors agreed Wednesday morning to allow MEMA to turn an unspecified number of hurricane cottages over to nonprofit agencies, which then may form cottage parks in the unincorporated county.

The state's alternative housing program, which has provided free cottages to Hurricane Katrina victims, expires at the end of March. Residents who now live in the structures, but are unable to buy them, will then be homeless, MEMA spokesman DeWayne Gray told supervisors.

There are fewer than 150 of the cottages in the unincorporated county, including those located below and above Interstate 10. Gray said MEMA is proposing to donate as many of the cottages as possible to the Region 8 Housing Authority, and possibly to other nonprofit agencies.

They would then pool the cottages into parks, in areas already zoned for commercial trailer parks. The houses would be provided to elderly people and other low-income residents.

Supervisors approved Gray's request with a unanimous vote. The Sun Herald will update this story in Thursday's print edition.