City of Jackson’s Blight Elimination Program

The City of Jackson has applied for two applications with Mississippi Home Corporation’s Blight Elimination Program. The first round was approved, and Jackson took on two Blight Partners (BPs): Habitat for Humanity and the Jackson Housing Authority.

Before the second application was submitted a new Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) for BPs was issued as well as an RFQ for additional demo contractors. These notifications were published in the Clarion Ledger, Jackson Advocate, Los Noticia, the Mississippi Link, & the Jackson Free Press. The City is honored to work with the BPs for the second-round application: Design Build Solutions, Midtown Partners, and Voice of Calvary Ministries. The additional demolition contractors are Innovative Performance Construction and PDT Logistics, LLC. For a complete list of approved contractors click please click here to view Approved Blight Contractors.

For the list of properties slated for demo on the second-round application, please click here to view Second Round Property List. 

Blight is often a symptom of an imbalance between the supply and demand for housing. As a result, the City of Jackson has identified the thirteen major causes of blight in the Capitol City.

CAUSES:

  • Structural Defects;
  • Faulty Infrastructure Planning and Design;
  • Lack of Necessary Amenities, and Utilities;
  • Taxation Issues and Access to Capital For Home Purchases;
  • Condition of Title;
  • Character of Neighborhood;
  • Illegal Dumping in Blighted Open Areas;
  • Uneconomical Use of Land;
  • High Vacancies;
  • Physical and Geological Factors Such As Natural Disasters
  • Declining National, State, and Municipal Funding for Housing Programs
  • General Neglect of Property by Absentee Homeowner and Real Estate Investors
  • Tax Forfeiture by Delinquent In-State, Out-of-State Landowners or State of Mississippi Division of Public Land Ownership

The City of Jackson’s strategy, which is a component of our overall housing plan will be to execute a reliable, predictable, and successful revitalization method. The emphasized plan will address demolitions, redevelopment, abatement, remediation, green space maintenance methodology, security, and preservation of property, with the goal of ultimately eliminating blight throughout the city for long term stabilization as a deliverable result.

GOALS:

  1. Blight elimination to reduce blight by at least 500 structures per year
  2. Increase efforts of code enforcement officers to ticket and place liens on illegal dumping sites and vacant lots that become nuisances to local neighborhood associations and stakeholders
  3. Increase private investment and development
  4. Stabilize the housing stock of distressed communities
  5. Revitalize neighborhoods with community asset enhancements
  6. Increase property values in Jackson by concentrating efforts on blight elimination around community assets
  7. Secure and stabilize property tax roll for Hinds County with taxpaying homeowners by developing additional methods for citizens to become homeowners via strategic partnerships with local non-profits and lending institutions.

The City of Jackson recognizes blight as a term with multiple meanings and a complex legal and policy history in Mississippi. Currently, blight costs are frequently associated with vacant and often foreclosed homes, defective and abandoned buildings, litter, vacant lots, graffiti and population shrinkage with economic divestment. In the past, neighborhood blight has long been considered a Secretary of State Tax forfeiture and City of Jackson problem. In Jackson, due to racial and economic flight of businesses within once thriving areas, many communities now face issues of blight and divestment in residential as well as commercial corridors. Dilapidated properties, illegal dumping, and overgrown lots, otherwise known as blight, have long been among the City of Jackson’s most vexing challenges. Concentrations of blighted properties reduce property values, harm quality of life, and threaten public safety. Since coming to office, Mayor Lumumba has made blight reduction a priority. On July 17, 2017, Mayor Lumumba announced an ambitious blight elimination partnership between the Secretary of State for the State of Mississippi with a goal of reducing blight in the Capitol City of Mississippi.

STRATEGY:

  • Develop organizational timeline and processes to utilize Blight Elimination Funds
  • Develop partnerships with the Mississippi Secretary of State Division of Public Land, local housing and development agencies, private housing development entities and other non-governmental organizations and potentiality more organizations before the end of the year.
  • Update policies and procedures concerning contractor procurement, demolition process, and burned structures process involving both residential and commercial buildings.
  • Update policies for vacant property registry by purchasing real estate software for identifying vacant or underutilized residential housing structures.
  • Reorganize code enforcement officers and community improvement to strengthen our property inspection process.
  • Update the City of Jackson’s Municode for vacant property inspections.
  • Develop a neighborhood plan to comprehensively address areas of blight near major corridors of travel near residential areas & religious institutions.
  • Identify areas of blight near community assets such as schools, parks & business corridors and develop an asset-based assessment methodology strategy for the City of Jackson Planning Department.
  • Develop a place-based revitalization strategy and long-term blight elimination plan for sustainability and best practices.
  • Strategically identify methods to deploy development assistance and other HUD resources.
  • Develop initial stage plans for asset revitalization utilizing philanthropic grants via the arts, technology, and business development.
  • Deploy future resources using mapping software, tactical urbanism design concepts and community engagement.

It is a policy of the City of Jackson to identify real property within the municipality whose conditions threaten the public health, safety, and welfare of its citizens. To that end, the City has created a series of actions by which it can employ policy and/or procedures to determine those properties that require intervention by either remediation or demolition.

If the assessment of the parcel/property indicates a need for demolition, the City is authorized to utilize municipal resources to initiate actions outlined in provisions of MCA 21-19-11 or MCA 21-19-20 (Mississippi Code Title 21 – Municipalities Chapter 19 – HEALTH, SAFETY, AND WELFARE § 21-19-11), utilizing the Procurement of Contract Labor Policy.

NOTE: Prior to demolition authorization, a check for historic district assignation must be ascertained and, if found, may impact the prior adjudicated determination.

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