Throughout Mississippi, MDA works to enhance the economic vitality and competitiveness of the state’s communities. Working in collaboration with the state’s local economic development partners, MDA’s Community Services and Asset Development Divisions offer a variety of programs and services designed to create more vibrant municipalities and counties, while enriching the lives of the citizens that call them home.
Through its grant and loan programs, Community Services provides assistance to qualifying communities throughout the state to spur economic development and improve the quality of life within those communities. Financial assistance is available for public infrastructure needs, such as road, rail, water and drainage improvements. The division also provides assistance to help ensure communities’ residents have access to safe, affordable housing, and for the everyday maintenance and operations of existing emergency shelters and the rapid re-housing of their residents.
The Asset Development team works with Mississippi communities to help them recognize, promote and capitalize upon their existing assets through its asset mapping process and by coordinating the efforts of local Main Street Associations. A community’s assets may include its natural resources, recreational sites, local eateries, or historical buildings and monuments. Once assets are identified, the team recommends strategies to community leaders that will promote and develop the assets to further strengthen the local community and economy. The division also implements the state’s Hometown Retirement Program and works to certify cities — large and small — throughout the state as Certified Retirement Communities in order to showcase the high quality of life enjoyed by retirees in Mississippi’s communities.