Renovations help west low income Jackson homeowners stay put - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Renovations help west low income Jackson homeowners stay put

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Amid pockets of blight in west Jackson are brand new homes. 

They are completely renovated through a collaboration that is helping longtime homeowners to invest in turning around the community. The Jackson Gateway Project's $1 million dollar investment is getting homeowners some much needed help with staying put.  

"I didn't have air. I've got air now. Oh thank you Jesus," said Macy Street resident Golden Thomas.

The Jackson native and her husband Walter moved into their completely renovated Macy Street home three weeks ago. The couple has lived here 20 years.

"I want to see the area come back up to what it was," added Thomas.

Around her home on nearby streets are vacant and blighted houses. Thomas can see the rear of an  abandoned church on Claiborne Avenue from her front porch.

There is no overgrowth, and you only notice ivy growing on the aged red bricks.

"My neighbor at the end of the street, she makes it a point to keep this area nice," said the 58 year old.

Thomas and eight other homeowners now have refurbished houses here through the Jackson Gateway Project. They are making an investment to stay in the neighborhood.

"We all can walk out and go down at night time and stand and talk with each other and not have any problem because everybody on that corner, this corner, this corner, that corner, everybody knows everybody," said the Macy Street resident.

"We want them to have that incentive by investing into their properties," said Mississippi Housing Partnership Executive Director Tim Collins.

The agency is involved in the pilot project to rebuild west Jackson one small section at a time. Three more houses will soon be completed.

"A lot of folk are desiring to leave west Jackson for whatever reason or another and our goal is focusing on homeowners first is to make sure that they have an avenue or a reason to stay," said Collins.

There are nearly 30 homeowners in the area who have applied for the home improvement funding.

Collins said only city funds have been allocated and private funding is needed to continue renovations for qualified homeowners.

It is estimated that $4.1 million would be required for complete and partial renovations to existing houses in the target area.

"It's getting so much better, like it used to be," added Thomas.

Ten homes in a four street area are slated to be renovated in 2017.

Copyright 2016  MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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