Eliminating blight in the City of Jackson; program underway to address issue

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – A makeover is underway in parts of the City of Jackson. Leaders said this is part of the Blight Elimination Program.

Blight is an eyesore that’s seen across the city, and the issue has impacted Jackson’s economic growth for years.

“You know, the water lifts all the boats, and we want kids to be able to walk home from school to their new Habitat House and not have to walk past scary places,” stated Merrill McKewen, executive director for Habitat for Humanity Mississippi.

As the concern of revitalization grows in the Jackson area, Habitat for Humanity is one of many organizations that’s done work for years.

“We have improved neighborhoods, we have improved streets, and part of our work is to build better houses,” said McKewen.

On Monday, Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced the city, along with community partners, has successfully demolished 117 properties in six of the seven wards.  

“This is important it is important because it signals to a community that we care. It signals to a community that they are not abandoned and forgotten like some of these properties,” the mayor said.

The properties that were cleaned up are expected to be transformed into affordable housing and other productive spaces, including parks, gardens, and green spaces.

City officials said the project was estimated at just under $3 million dollars. The funding is expected to be used for ongoing maintenance for up to three years.

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