Housing advocates in Mississippi cheered the passage of the Jackson Housing Trust Fund on March 24, 2015 with a unanimous vote from the Council. The ordinance establishes the fund, with a citizen advisory board, so it will receive a portion of the anticipated National Housing Trust Fund allocation going to the state. Housing Mississippi, in collaboration with Working Together Jackson, celebrate this victory as part of a long effort tied to a campaign underway since 2006 to create a state housing trust fund—Jackson has created the first housing trust fund in Mississippi.
Phil Eide, Executive Director of HOPE Enterprise Corporation commented: “This is an important exciting step for the City of Jackson and the numerous partner organizations working together for the future of our neighborhoods and all who live in Jackson.”
Members of Working Together Jackson (an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation) and others testified about the need to fund the development of low and moderate income housing in Jackson. While everyone understood the trust fund process is still in initial stages, city officials were clearly excited about addressing the growing housing problems in the City of Jackson.
The Jackson Housing Trust Fund will be a separate fund held by the City into which grants awarded from the State of Mississippi, including funds disbursed through the forthcoming National Housing Trust Fund, and other funds will be deposited. Additional options for local funds to be committed to the Fund will be presented to the Mayor and Council. Because of the connection to potential funds from the National Housing Trust Fund, the Jackson Housing Trust Fund will be used in accordance with and for the purposes established in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
The ordinance also created a nine-member Jackson Housing Trust Fund Advisory Committee. Members will be nominated by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council with one member from each of the seven wards within the City and two members at-large. Each member is to have a demonstrated knowledge or interest, competence, or expertise in the housing trust fund. The Advisory Committee is responsible for studies, reviews, fact findings and recommendations regarding compliance with the federal regulations governing the National Housing Trust Fund. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Committee is to issue a report on the uses of the Trust Fund in the previous fiscal year and plans for the upcoming fiscal year.
This victory for Jackson comes from the research, meetings and numerous conversations with staff and elected officials of Jackson to pursue a housing trust fund for the City.
Contact: Phil Eide, Hope Enterprise Corporation, 4 Old River Place, Jackson, MS (601-944-4148) Phil.Eide@hope-ec.org