Habit rebuilding homes and neighborhood's future - WLBT.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson 10/24/08

Habit rebuilding homes and neighborhood's future

By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Habitat for Humanity calls it their biggest challenge yet- transform what used to be a drug infested area, into an attractive neighborhood.

In the shadow of run down houses through the 80's and through the 90's Wood Street was known as the 'drug capital', in Mississippi's Capital City.

"It was the worst drug area in the City of Jackson, created a lot of homicides, and when I was at MBNI I did what I had to do to clean this up," said Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

This section of Wood Street has now been transformed thanks to a Habitat program called Park View Place. Four new homes dedicated to eager families, with the support of sponsors and city leaders. A city block of dilapidated houses, leveled to make way for the new development.

"The difference in what this neighborhood looked like a short time ago and what was going on in Jaycee Park and to think we have beautiful homes here that will not just be a house, but will be a home for so many people and a dream come true," added Ward 7 Councilwoman, Margaret Barrett-Simon.

"It's a great program for people like me, an opportunity to afford decent affordable housing because you got so many people not living good and that's not a good thing," said Chandra Jamison, new Habitat homeowner.

The second phase of Park View Place will add another 14 homes around a newly paved culdesac. Habitat of Metro Jackson says this was their largest challenge yet, in an area, that was once almost uninhabitable.

"I would like to say we build homes and hope that in building homes we're building neighbohoods. We like to think our four families that are here today all know each other, have met each other, have worked together they will truly form a neighborhood and be a neighborhood and be a neighborhood with those already here,' added Jackie Brown, BD President for Habitat for Humanity.

"What we've learned is when you change a neighborhood, you change the culture of the people," said Mayor Melton.

The new homeowners in Park View Place will move into their new homes, next week, after inspections are complete.

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