West Jackson undergoing "Westoration" - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

West Jackson undergoing "Westoration"

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By Cheryl Lasseter - bio|email|twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Grand Avenue, Buena Vista, and surrounding streets are home to beautiful historic houses that have been abandoned and neglected for decades. They're selling for as low as $10,000.

At a gathering at Koinonia Coffee House off Capitol Street Saturday, potential buyers are learning how to secure loans to pick up some of the properties through a federal program. The program, called 203K, promotes the restoration of old homes and efforts to make them more energy efficient.

Jackson State University's Center for University Development is providing tours of the targeted areas. "Gave me an idea of what could be if I stay here in Jackson," says Jacqueline Phillips, who took the tour. "There are some nice properties I didn't see from that standpoint."

Renovation is a great idea, says deborah Rae Wright. "I decided to move here from Dallas in 2000 or so," she says.

deborah bought a house on Grand Avenue, even though it seemed like a nightmare at the time. "It was leaning on the ground, all boarded up, windows were falling apart, it was a mess," she says.

After 10 months of hard work, deborah is living in it, with no burglar bars on the windows. Those involved in the "Westoration" program say since there's currently not much wealth in West Jackson, the criminals leave it alone.

Wright kept the historical integrity of the outside of the home, and had fun renovating the inside. "I made 8, 10 foot cathedral arches to open up the living room, dining room, kitchen for hospitality. The hallway is 60 feet long. I kept that true," she says. "You really can make your dream home."

Click here for more information on "Westoration", sponsored by Jackson State University's Center for University-Based Development. 

 ©2010 WLBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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