JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson’s City Council has voted to change directions on a plan to rehab five targeted homes in the city.
It’s a program that was meant to give low-income residents a chance at affordable housing.
“The main impetus there is just the increasing construction costs to do rehabs,” Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick said.
Jackson officials say the change in course doesn’t mark the end of their efforts to try to provide affordable housing to city residents.
“It’s just a matter of having the funds available to do it,” Dimick said. “That’s really the biggest question right now. We know that there is a need, we know that we have housing available. It’s just more of how are we going to fund programs like this?”
The plan was to use $1 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.
One of the earmarked homes on Homewild Avenue will continue to be rehabbed after the contract was approved for just under $190,000. The city estimates it will be able to accommodate a family by late next year.
“We will hopefully work with some kind of community entity to identify an individual or family that could be living there and it’s been designated for what we call transitional housing,” Dimick said. “That is for people who are in need of housing, perhaps are coming out of a situation where they don’t have somewhere to live and they need some stability.”
As for the rest of the homes? They will go back into a long list of city owned properties.
As of July, the city owned more than 800 vacant properties including side lots.
“It’s not to say that we couldn’t continue to rehab those homes or work with another entity to rehab them,” Dimick said. "It just means that we’re kind of putting a pause on those other four properties right now. Perhaps we could revisit them. They could be sold to another developer.”
It’s back to the drawing board for the city to come up with different ways to address this issue. They have three more years to spend their $31.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
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