SOS Partners with Communities to Eliminate Blight

Jackson, Miss. (WLBT) – 3 On Side introduced you to a pastor in south Jackson, in June, ARM’d with determination to transform his community.

He made a proposition to the Secretary of State in that report and now Delbert Hosemann responds in this Taking Back Our Streets follow up.

Pastor Lanford Porter had a message for the Secretary of State in my first report. It was about the eyesore across the street from his church that was once Apple Ridge Shopping Center.

“And if the Secretary of State would sign a piece of paper and sign this property over to us, we would implement a plan that would turn this into a mecca in the desert,” said Pastor Porter.

Delbert Hosemann said, “We’re ready to go. I have met with him by phone and we have decreased the price on AppleRidge. It’s appraised at $475,000 and we’ve told them that we’ll sell it for $47,000.”

In fact, Hosemann says it’s the goal of his office to return land like Apple Ridge to productive use.

Now there are plenty of properties all over the state of Mississippi for sale at a discount and you can bid on those properties at an auction online, all you have to do is go to the Secretary of State’s website, scroll down to tax forfeited property, click on view auction and there you have it.

“Go on the website. There’s a bid price and you don’t even have to put any money up and then in 30-days, we’ll come and right away, you will know in 24 to 48 hours, we’ll come back to you and either counter and tell you to do this or accept your bid and then within 30-days, we go through the process of issuing the patent. The governor has to sign it. I have to sign it. It usually closes in about 60 days so, it’s a pretty quick process, really.” said the Secretary of State.

And those property sales are beneficial in many ways.

Hosemann said, “Like the Jackson Public Schools got over a million dollars from this property that we sold. That’s really important, but even more important is that it’s back on the tax rolls.”

As for the $47,000 price tag on the old Apple Ridge Shopping Center, Pastor Porter said he’s not worried.

“I always believe that whenever God gives a vision, he always makes provision and he uses people to bring those visions to pass, so we plan on partnering with other entities in the community that could help us to bring that to pass,” said Pastor Porter.

Secretary of State Hosemann said, “When I talked to the pastor, he was indicating he’s going to be asking a lot of people for money and I would encourage him to do that. That’s a corner stone out in that community. If it’s gets converted to either residential or come back as commercial, it certainly would exceed, the six acres would exceed $47,000 dollars.”

But what about crime in the community? Pastor Porter indicates the transformation from eyesore to affordable home ownership will address that problem.

“But when you give people hope; when you give them the ability or the chance to own their own property, they have a tendency to not only take care of their own homes, but take care of their own community.” said Pastor Porter.

So, it could be a win-win for all involved and 3 On Your Side will continue to monitor the progress and give you updates.

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