JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Sunday, WJTV 12 News reported about several Habitat for Humanity homes in Jackson near Smith Robinson Street that have been damaged by raw sewage.

Homeowners said they have reached out to the state multiple times, but they have not received any additional help.

Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba claimed an estimated $1 billion will be needed to fix Jackson’s sewer collection system. He added that the city doesn’t have the money to fix everything at once.

City Attorney Torri Martin said Public Works crews have made repeated trips to the area to fix the problem.

“We go back through the records, we look from 2019 to 2023, what we see is that there was an issue on the street. You see many times were to see that Jackson came out and attempted to fix the issue. But there was never a time when the City of Jackson was negligent in repairing the issue. The city consistently responded to the complaints from citizens and did our best to fix the repair. And we did finally have a major repair in May of 2023. What we replaced six feet, 36, 36 feet on the line,” said Martin.

“Our city attorney’s office has been aiming to do is to paint a more accurate picture of what we can do and the time in which we can do it. And so, any resident who deals with sewer back up in their home, any resident who deals with sewer on their streets, we empathize is with you. We regret that condition. We want to fix that condition. But this is something that has accumulated over time, and we don’t have the ability overnight to correct it. So, we ask for your communication. We ask for your patience, even though we know you have been patient,” said Lumumba.

The City of Jackson has been in a consent decree with the EPA over the sewer system since 2012. Earlier this month, Third Party Manager Ted Henifin was officially put in charge of the city’s sewer system.