HOUSING DEVELOPMENT

Since the housing component became fully operational in 1994, approximately 900 families received assistance in housing opportunities. Through the home ownership program, the West Jackson CDC has been able to retain existing homeowners and attract additional families by providing principal reduction, down payment assistance, and financial assistance as incentives to eligible families.

The Jackson City Council designated the West Jackson CDC as the City's first Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO): The designation provides the West Jackson CDC with an annual allocation of HOME funds. Through the assistance of HOPE III, HOME, CDBG, Jackson State University’s Project HOOP, Fannie Mae, Youthbuild, and Palisades @ E-City, the West Jackson CDC has developed a multifaceted approach to identifying eligible low-to-moderate income families, properties, and financial support necessary for program success. The housing program involves acquisitions/donation of properties, major rehabilitation, new construction, rental assistance, creative financing, and home ownership counseling and training. The West Jackson CDC administers the following programs in the area of home ownership:

(CDBG) Housing Revolving Loan Funds: To date, the West Jackson CDC has received approximately $450,000 in CDBG funds to administer an owner-occupied rehabilitation program in the target area. The program provides low-interest and/or deferred loans to owner-occupied residents within the CDC’s service area. To date, 26 houses were rehabilitated and 175 applications pending. This program was designed to provide amortized and deferred payment loans to low-income families that will preserve and enhance the structural quality, livability and the value of the community’s housing needs, as well as promote affordability for resident homeowners. Deferred loans were provided for families who could not afford to pay. The West Jackson CDC was responsible for approving loans, inspecting units, managing the rehabilitation process, loan closing, counseling and training. Currently, the West Jackson CDC is utilizing CDBG for principal reduction, down payment assistance, and closing cost to first time home buyers.

(HOME) First Time Home Buyers: The West Jackson CDC have in HOME funds from the City of Jackson to provide new construction in the West Jackson CDC target area. The initial new construction project will consist of 12 single family units. The houses will be sold to low-to-moderate eligible first time home buyers. A subsidy is from CDBG will be provided to eligible families for principal reduction, financial assistance and down-payment assistance.

West Jackson CDC purchases dilapidated, substandard housing units and rehabilitates/renovates them to standard properties. The rehabilitated properties are, subsequently, sold to individuals who have not previously owned a home. To date, 21 homes have been rehabilitated and sold to low-to-moderate income first time home buyers. West Jackson CDC staff has screened approximately 200 applicants who are currently awaiting housing assistance.

HOPE III: The West Jackson CDC received $390,000 from the U. S. Department of HUD through a partnership between West Jackson CDC, HUD and the Jackson Housing Authority. The program is designed to acquire and rehabilitate boarded-up, drug infested, single family units. To date, ten houses have been purchased, rehabilitated and sold to low-income first time homeowners.

Home Ownership Opportunity Program (HOOP) - Jackson State University received $2.4M in partnership between West Jackson CDC, Jackson State University, the Jackson Housing Authority, the City of Jackson, and Hinds County. The program involves the acquisition and rehabilitation of 20 substandard structures in the Washington Addition neighborhood within the West Jackson CDC’s service area. These units have been completely rehabilitated and are now being sold to first time home buyers. We expect to acquire the other ten units as soon as the properties become available. The families have been identified and have attended seven home ownership education programs.

Multi-family Housing - This project will address the needs of low-income families that cannot afford home ownership. The West Jackson CDC will acquire and rehabilitate existing multi-family units. Prospective tenants will be assisted through rent subsidies and will be required to participate in a self-sufficiency program.

HUD/HOME Program - The Jackson City Council has designated the West Jackson CDC as the city’s only Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). This designation mandates that at least 15 percent of Jackson’s annual allocation of HOME funds be administered by West Jackson CDC.

The West Jackson CDC's rental housing projects provide housing to low-income families who cannot afford home ownership. Prospective tenants are assisted through rent subsidies and are required to participate in a self-sufficiency program. The rental facilities are considered to be transitional housing, since each family will attempt to attain full-employment and home ownership within two years.

Perkins Plaza - The West Jackson CDC purchased and renovated an eight unit apartment complex within the target area. These units are rented to low-income families who are required to participate in various training programs administered by the West Jackson CDC. One unit of the complex was converted to an activity and training center where student activities, parenting and job training are being conducted. This project is funded by the City of Jackson through HUD’s HOME program. This facility is considered to be transitional housing, since each family will attempt to attain full-employment and home ownership within two years.

University Town-Homes (Former Prentiss Villa) - The West Jackson CDC purchased a 17-unit town house complex located within its target area. The units were abandoned, decaying and used for illicit activities. They have been renovated and are rented to low-to-moderate income families in the target area. The complex is located within walking distance of Jackson State University.

Jackson Youthbuild: The West Jackson CDC was funded in 1997, 2000, and 3003 for a Youthbuild project. These programs were funded by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the amount of $700,000 each. The Youthbuild project is divided into two cycles of 12 months and the participants spend 50 percent of their time in an academic setting working toward their GED and the other 50 percent on site job training in housing construction. The West Jackson CDC currently employs a teacher, counselor, construction manager and crew chief who direct the education, planning and construction activities of the Youthbuild program, including new construction, rehabilitation and repairs. West Jackson CDC’s Youthbuild Program currently enrolls 18 persons 16-24 years old receiving vocational training in housing construction. The Youthbuild Program provides an immediate trained and supervised source of labor for some of the construction activities to be undertaken through this project. Youthbuild provides a bimonthly stipend to participants. The availability of West Jackson CDC’s construction manager, crew chief and Youthbuild participants provide the project the in-house expertise and personnel resources that are crucial to getting this project up and running with minimal delay. The West Jackson CDC is willing to provide technical assistance to other CHDO members of this collaboration in all phases of their construction projects if such is desired. To date, 135 participants have completed the program, 31 students have earned their GEDs, five have entered college and 46 have been placed on jobs.

Fannie Mae: The West Jackson CDC was approved for $30,000 from Fannie Mae Foundation to support the 2002 World Changers Jackson, Mississippi Project within the West Jackson CDC target area. The project funds rehabilitated 22 homes by providing paint, roofing and other minor repairs to porches, siding, windows, etc. to area low income families. World Changers volunteers from six states participated in this activity.

Counseling and Education Component - The objective of the counseling and educational component is to help low-to-moderate income families, who will develop responsible decision making skills, effective actions as they participate in housing markets, housing assistance programs and housing maintenance programs that provides general information designed to assist potential home buyers in obtaining affordable housing counseling, while empowers low income families to become homeowners through education and good planning, counseling facilitators are loan officers from local banks arid other non-profit organizations who works with families to process their mortgage loan. Such topics include: Credit/Financial Management; Advantages of Home Analyzing Your Current Expenses; Taxes and Insurance; Financing Mechanisms; Budgeting; Budget Homestead Exemption; etc. Certificates of Completion are awarded to all families who purchase a home under this program. The counseling services are provided on a monthly basis.

Palisades @ E-City: The West Jackson CDC in partnership with a private developer, Jackson State University, and other interested parties was instrumental in the development of the Palisades @ E-City housing project located on Valley Street near the campus of Jackson State University. This is a $16 million, 144 apartment complex – which houses students, faculty and staff. The West Jackson CDC is the owner of these apartments which opened in August 2002.

Chalet Village Apartments – The West Jackson CDC acquired this 99-unit apartment complex to provide affordable housing for low and moderate income persons in west Jackson. The apartments are located at Hiawatha and Hooker Streets in Jackson.