Mississippi has cleared all the regulatory hurdles for its Katrina homeowner grant assistance program, and it will soon be sending the closing documents for the grants to the hurricane victims and their lenders, according to a Mississippi Development Authority spokesman.MDA spokesman Scott Hamilton said the closing documents will be sent to mortgage lenders that signed up to help homeowners fill out the closing documents. Over 16,000 Mississippians have applied for the grants, which are designed to cover up to $150,000 of the costs of repairing or rebuilding a home that was damaged in Hurricane Katrina last August. However, industry groups are concerned that homeowners receiving the grants are under no obligation to rebuild their homes. Lenders wanted the state to require escrow accounts to ensure that the grants are used for rebuilding. But Mississippi officials insisted on a program that gave the homeowners direct control of the funds, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development approved it.

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