Looking over a model of the downtown area, Hakim Crampton envisions the future of affordable housing in Jackson. “This is a great opportunity for Reed Manor and downtown residents,” Crampton said. A lifelong Jackson resident, Crampton is Project Manager for the Choice Neighborhood Plan.
The City of Jackson is one of eight cities nationwide to receive a federal Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant. The grant is being used to plan the redevelopment of the Jackson Housing Commission’s Reed Manor property, which includes 292 units of low-income housing. The Choice Neighborhood Plan is working to replace all of those units with new mixed-income housing in the downtown area.
Reed Manor is becoming difficult to maintain due to its age. There are also safety and security issues for residents. At events downtown and Reed Manor this summer, residents gave feedback for the plan. A large model of downtown helped residents identify needs. “All the data we collect will help us understand what types of housing people want to live in and the support systems they’ll need to thrive,” Crampton said.
Reed Manor resident Aenease Ramirez is helping her neighbors understand this process as a program ambassador. “Along with improved living conditions, I’d like to see more accessibility to resources so people can get the help they need,” Ramirez said. After the completion of the planning phase in 2023, officials will seek additional funding to make the plans a reality. “We’re not bad people because of where we live. Give us a chance. It does my heart good to see our residents being listened to through this process,” Ramirez said.