'I appreciate everything they are doing’: Vicksburg officials work to tackle blight in community

'I appreciate everything they are doing’: Vicksburg officials work to tackle blight in community

VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Vicksburg officials are stepping up their efforts to fight blight in the city.

The community development division is now using millions in grant funding to rebuild and remodel dilapidated homes for people who can’t afford to do so on their own.

The sound of progress could be heard at Darryl Franklin's home.

Vicksburg housing officials say Franklin’s home is one of more than one-thousand in the city that have fallen into disrepair.

“It was leaking inside the house, the floors had a hole in it,” said Franklin.

“The ceilings were cracked, the floors were rotted, the bathroom was falling in and the house needed painting completely,” said housing director Gertrude Young.

Franklin, who is disabled, didn’t have the money to bring it up to code, so the city stepped up in to do the work free of charge.

“Yes, it is great to bring in economics and bring in new businesses, but if you steadily have people leaving their homes because they have no other place, then you have to invest,” said Young.

So far this year, the city has acquired four grants worth $2 million to rebuild, remodel, and reconstruct more than 50 homes that were on the demolition list for low income residents as were seniors and those with disabilities.

“Because the need is so great, we were able to get the grants we need to repair these homes because they have nowhere else to go,” said Young.

Ben Brown is the contractor for Franklin’s home and he applauds the city for tackling blight all while providing a helping hand for those who can’t help themselves.

“It gives them a renewed sense of pride and they are very thankful and they have a different expressions once we leave and finish.”

“I appreciate everything they are doing. I do. I appreciate everything they are doing,” said Franklin.

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