Loans Tailored for Storm Victims

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One of the nation's largest mortgage investors will launch a $1 billion program for low-interest loans to help up to 10,000 low-income Mississippi and Gulf Coast homeowners recover from Hurricane Katrina.

Freddie Mac, a corporation that uses bulk purchases of residential mortgages as an investment vehicle, is working with the Mississippi Home Corporation to create loans for repairs and home purchases at about one percent below market rates.

Qualified borrowers may buy or repair homes in a federally designated Katrina disaster area. Borrowers also can use the loans to buy a house in a different part of Louisiana if they had a mortgage on a principal residence in a storm disaster area as of Aug. 28, the day before Katrina hit.

Freddie Mac Chairman Richard Syron says people who buy or repair homes can work through the usual mortgage companies to inquire about the loans.