City of Vicksburg enters housing rehab program with NAACP

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

The Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen is allocating $300,000 a year for three years in American Recovery Plan Act funds to improve substandard housing in the city as part of a housing initiative with the NAACP.

The board on Tuesday approved an agreement with the Vicksburg Branch of the NAACP to participate in the program.

“I’m particularly proud of this piece of legislation because it will allow us to partner with the oldest civil rights organization to make certain that we bring all the blight in the city up to standard,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “This is a great opportunity; we can work with partners in our community to help us. They’ve looked at everything, and they’ve agreed with everything.

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“I think it’s a great thing that you can partner with your community partners to do something positive,” he said, adding the program was the work of several groups.

“And that’s what we’re about; taking input from the community and utilizing it,” Flaggs said.

Jamma Williams, Flaggs’ constituent services officer who is overseeing the program, said it is aimed at revitalizing the disadvantaged areas in Vicksburg such as Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Oak Street and Marcus Bottom and other areas.

“There are certain criteria,” he said, pointing out that individuals seeking help must own their home and city funds cannot be used outside the city limits.

Williams said grants for home repairs are between $8,000 and $15,000, and the maximum income is $50,000.

“But if you do make that $50,000 income, you must provide proof of financial hardship,” he said.

Community Development Director Jeff Richardson said the city has 66 residents on a waiting list from a previous housing rehabilitation program who may be eligible for the new program.

“That shows the need,” Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield said. “We appreciate that fact that the NAACP and others involved opted to take the challenge because I can assure you when you look at Vicksburg as a whole, especially old Vicksburg, you see that there is just a great, great need for help.”

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.

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