Mississippi Ends Federal 15-Month Free Rent and Utilities Program – The Oxford Eagle

Governor Tate Reeves today announced that Mississippi is ending a federal in-state program that incentivizes people to stay out of the workforce by offering up to 15 months of free rent and utility bill payments. public services.

At the request of Governor Reeves, Mississippi Home Corporation will stop accepting applications for the federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program, effective August 15, 2022. In Mississippi, this program is called the Assistance Program. for Hire for Mississippians, or RAMP.

The Emergency Rental Assistance Program was originally designed to help those who have experienced hardship caused by COVID-19. However, the program’s second tranche of funding has deviated significantly from the original purpose and intent of the program, as it no longer requires applicants to provide proof that they cannot pay their rent or utility bill due to an ordeal caused by COVID-19.

“Mississippi isn’t afraid to make tough decisions to improve our workforce participation. That’s what we’re doing today,” Reeves said. “This program basically became: if for some reason you can’t pay your rent or your utility bill, the taxpayers will pay it for you. Mississippi will continue to say no to these types of liberal grants that encourage people to stay out of the workforce. Instead, we’re going to say yes to conservative principles and policies that get more people to work.

Reeves pointed out that Mississippi is in the best fiscal and financial shape in state history and that there is a job available for every Mississippian who wants to work. He highlighted a series of statistics that show Mississippi’s economy is strong, including:

  • Mississippi was the 10th best state in the nation for weathering the economic consequences of COVID-19.
  • Mississippi’s unemployment rate recently hit its lowest level in state history. The fall in the unemployment rate since COVID-19 is the 13th best in the country.
  • Mississippi State collected about $7.4 billion in revenue in the past fiscal year, more than $1.45 billion more than the initial sine die estimate.
  • Year-to-date, Mississippi has seen more than $1.6 billion in new capital investment. Since Governor Reeves took office, Mississippi has seen nearly $4 billion in new capital investment.
  • In 2021, Mississippi saw the largest annual increase in employees since the last century. From June 2021 to June 2022, the state increased employment by an additional 30,000 jobs.

“Mississippi’s COVID-19 state of emergency ended approximately eight months ago and we have continued to move forward. It is time for our state to return to pre-pandemic policies,” Reeves said.

Today’s announcement only applies to applications that have not yet been submitted. If an application for the program has already been submitted, today’s announcement will have no effect on it.

The announcement was made during a live press conference which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Ryan H. Bowman