Jackson Saving Millions By Tearing Down Homes

By: Hannah Saunders Email
By: Hannah Saunders Email

Lafayette Paschall is sick of living next to a house that's been vacant for seven years: "We can't hardly wait until they hit it." She's been having to keep an eye on it ever since it was taken over by the City of Jackson, and used by squatters.

"We're just kind of tired of having to call the police about what's been going on over there."

Now the City will make it into a green space, and put it up for sale; a good opportunity for Paschall and her husband to extend their property line about a half acre.

The Paschalls would gladly pay hundreds for it, but he Mayor Martin Griffin says they'll probably only have to pay $1 for it. He says this demolition is a preview of what's in store for Jackson Neighborhoods. The City's goal is to demolish 1,000.

"The housing that you're seeing come down is older, larger housing that just takes way too much money to rehab," said Mayor Griffin.

It would cost Jackson $54 million to keep all the houses on the demolition list, but only $10 million to destroy them.

Since Jackson's population has dropped to about half of what it was in the 1950's, keeping more houses than there are people doesn't make sense to him.

"This is really going to deplete housing stock that really is obsolete, unusable and will then bring up property values," continued the Mayor.

A higher value is exactly what Paschall hopes her home of 19 years inherits: "We have big plans for (the land). We need it, we want it, and we're waiting." If she gets it, she plans on using it to plant a garden.

A link to all of Jackson's condemned properties:

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