Where does Homestead Heights stand? - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Where does Homestead Heights stand?

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Two years ago this month, ground was broken amid smiles and applause for Homestead Heights: an urban renewal project which promised 24 new houses, mostly along Prosperity and Williamson Streets near the Jackson Medical Mall. The Medical Mall Foundation spearheaded the project.

Construction was to begin quickly on the lot at Prosperity and Easy Streets, where ground was  broken.

Today, the lot holds nothing but an overgrown slab for a home.

JMMF Executive Director Primus Wheeler says he understands they're not as far along as they'd like to be. Only two houses have been built so far.

When the announcement took place, we talked to Vanessa Pinkston, who lived across the street with her father.

"I've been praying for a new house for years," she told us at that time. 

We caught up with her again Friday.

"Me and my kids, we moved. Me and five of my kids," she tells us. 

Pinkston says she grew tired of looking at the abandoned lots.

"Two years. It's been about two years," she says.

We also caught up with Medical Mall Foundation Director Primus Wheeler Friday. He explained the delays.

"We had some differences with the contractor. We had to move from those properties. We finally settled our differences. We're gonna go back to build those two houses (at Prosperity and Easy Streets), we're gonna start next week," he says.

One of the two completed houses, near Prosperity and James Streets, has been sold. The other is for sale for roughly $75,000.

"The other issues have been making sure we have enough site control. Getting properties acquired, cleaned up, so we can make a difference in the neighborhood," Wheeler says.

The $3 million development is to include 24 homes ranging from 2 to 5 bedrooms. The Mississippi Development Authority provided $2.6 million in funding through HUD, and Trustmark National Bank and FHLB Dallas awarded a total of $260,000 in two affordable housing program grants to the project.

In the coming months, Wheeler says, their original dream of affordable, green friendly, single family homes will take better shape. The funding will also help to rehab some of the existing homes in the area.

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