New homes will replace dilapidated structures

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Three dilapidated homes on Franklin Street will be going down to make way for new homes.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Wednesday authorized city clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for bids to remove the homes at 2501, 2503 and 2505 Franklin St. under a blight elimination program that is funded by a $165,000 Mississippi Home Corp. grant to remove and replace blighted homes. The city was awarded the grant in June. No match is required.

The board also authorized Mayor George Flaggs Jr. to sign a blight partner agreement with Construction Ministries of Madison to build new homes on the Franklin Street sites.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Under the blight elimination program, the city will remove selected homes with a clear title. The blight partner, a nonprofit corporation, buys the dilapidated property and builds the new home on the site after the old building is removed. The new home is then sold to a new owner.

Vicksburg is the second city in Mississippi to be awarded a blight elimination grant, city housing director Gertrude Young said in June. The $165,000 is expected do 11 properties under the program at $15,000 for each home — enough for the blight partner to buy the property, close on the property, and for the demolition. The partner builds the new home at its own expense.

“We want to be the first city to demolish a home under the program,” community development director Victor Gray-Lewis said. “We’d like to get the governor here for a ribbon cutting to mark the start of the demolition.”

The Mississippi Housing Corp. is an organization founded in 1989 to enhance Mississippi’s economy by financing safe, decent, affordable housing for families. The blight elimination program is one its programs.

The board in May approved agreements with three organizations — Perfect Touch Contractor of DeKalb, Warren County Habitat for Humanity and Construction Ministries — to build new homes on the site of vacant, dilapidated homes under the grant.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

email author More by John