Because of lower incomes and high poverty rates, rural Greenville, Mississippi struggles to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing for low-income families. Moreover, Greenville maintains one of the highest concentrations of substandard housing in the state. In fact, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked the Greenville/Washington County area as the worst region in the state of Mississippi for its physical environment. In July 2013, GGHRA was awarded an $847,000 Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) grant through the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) program and $134,000 in capacity-building funds to substantially rehabilitate Les-Lane Apartments, an eight-unit rental housing development in downtown Greenville.
Originally constructed in 1938, Les-Lane Apartments was Greenville’s first multifamily development. At the time, it provided luxury housing to many prominent Delta residents. However, by 2013, the property was vacant and blighted. GGHRA, along with other community leaders, constituents, funding agencies, and beneficiaries celebrated the grand reopening of Les-Lane Apartments in December 2014. Within three days of issuing the notice of availability for occupancy,
GGHRA received 43 applications for tenancy. Today, it boasts a waiting list of 28 prospective tenants. Once vacant and vandalized, Les-Lane Apartments is now a symbol of the city’s downtown renaissance. It also helped spur local economic activity. In fact, over 90 percent of the construction activities were awarded to regional contractors, providing a much needed economic stimulus to the City of Greenville. Les-Lane Apartments has proven to be a catalyst in the downtown redevelopment movement.
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