Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area announced is launching a five-year initiative to revitalize the historic Broadmoor neighborhood.
The first two houses to be rehabbed as a part of this initiative are located at 757 and 758 Avalon Road. The goal is to rehab 100 houses over five years, according to Merrill McKewen, Habitat’s executive director.
Created in the early 1950s as a neighborhood for GIs returning from World War II, the Broadmoor neighborhood was a place teeming with families and their children. Streets were named after major campaigns and individuals associated with WWII in Western Europe.
The neighborhood then became a place for first-time homebuyers, and baby boomers continued to live in the area throughout the early 1990s. Then a great deal of it became rental property lacking care. The area also suffered from the 2008 housing market crash with high rates of foreclosure.
“Our goal is to revitalize this neighborhood for the newest generation of first-time homebuyers,” McKewen said. “By using the structural integrity of the houses, our goal will be to offer completely remodeled homes for those in need of decent, affordable houses.”
“There are many pluses that make the neighborhood attractive today for revitalization,” she said. “The character of the neighborhood is the “post-war box” — moderately sized, well-constructed, structurally sound homes — along with mature trees and large, beautiful lots that are ideal for first-time homebuyers. The neighborhood is also near many amenities such as major thoroughfares, shopping centers, schools, churches, and potential jobs. As a bonus, if a house is beyond repair, we will be able to demo the house through a Blight Elimination Program though the City of Jackson, thereby, improving the neighborhood for everyone.”
Sharing the dream for the revitalization of Broadmoor is a 20-member committee of stakeholders representing businesses, government, schools, and faith-based institutions that support Habitat for Humanity Mississippi Capital Area’s (HFHMCA) work in the Broadmoor area. “At the Redeemer Church, we believe in the theology of place,” said Pastor Elbert McGowan Jr. “We want ‘shalom’ for the physical and tangible being of this neighborhood as well as the spiritual. Habitat’s commitment to rehab 100 houses in five years is huge part in bringing ‘shalom’ for Broadmoor.”
Cherry Buckner, who has lived in Broadmoor for 43 years and raised two daughters there, is excited about the revitalization underway. “When I moved here, it was the perfect place for young couples and families just starting out,” she said.