Working Together Jackson pushing for abandoned structures to be torn down

JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — A coalition of local institutions is looking for a solution to help get some abandoned structures demolished.

The group Working Together Jackson held a news conference Friday about the issue.They invited the Jackson city council, representatives of the Institutions of High Learning, Jackson State University leaders, and other officials to attend.

They said the purpose of the news conference was to bring attention to some properties that need to be torn down in the city.

Over the past four years, the JSU Foundation purchased houses and multi-family structures in the neighborhood bounded by Poindexter St. on the west, the Parkway on the north, Lynch St. on the south, and University Ave. on the east.

They said the foundation bought the properties to build a student housing community in those locations.  They said the JSU Foundation owns the properties and they are still vacant. They claim that JSU sought approval from the Legislature to enter into leasing arrangements and property sales that would lead to the building of a new student housing community to replace the temporary off-campus hotels currently serving as dormitories to support the growing JSU student population.

Residents said they were asked in numerous meetings with JSU officials to be patient and allow the legislative and administrative process to take place. However, the abandoned structures have not been boarded up and have become gathering places illegal activity, they said.

Working Together Jackson said they were told that the Legislature had approved and the Governor had signed the bill allowing for the building of the student housing. This meant the demolition of the properties was imminent. However, they claimed that the IHL Board has decided not to allow the construction of a new housing facility.

Also, they said the JSU Foundation and the University do not have the funds to demolish the dangerous properties. They want to develop an immediate solution that will allow for the properties to be demolished.

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