In order to address a shortage of teachers in parts of Mississippi, the Housing Assistance for Teachers (HAT) program was created by the Mississippi Legislature through the “Mississippi Critical Teacher Shortage Act of 1998.”
HAT offers up to $6,000 for the down payment and closing costs, which can be forgiven as long as the individual is employed for at least three years by a school in an area with a teacher shortage.
The property that the teacher is purchasing must also be in the area where the teacher will be employed, and must also be designated as a teacher shortage area.
No income limits apply to the HAT program, but the applicant must be able to put down at least 1% of the purchase price for the down payment from their own funds. Gift funds are not allowed for this requirement. Applicants must also have at least one month’s worth of housing expenses in reserve. This reserves requirement can be met by gift funds.
A list of locations in Mississippi that have a shortage are listed on the Mississippi Home Corporation’s website. These areas need teachers that specialize in the following subjects: Special Education; Mathematics; Foreign Language (French, German, Spanish); Science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics).
Other programs in Mississippi: