With the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the Jackson community, City of Jackson leaders are taking steps to help residents stay safe in their homes. City leaders are announcing a proposal that calls for using $385,000 in federal funds to administer homeless prevention initiatives that will focus on water shutoff protection, foreclosure prevention, and eviction protection.

The City is set to receive more than $756,000 in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are to be specifically used for COVID-19 relief efforts. The first step of the City putting these dollars into action is a public hearing to receive resident feedback during the Tuesday, May 26 City Council meeting. A summary of the proposed relief is as follows:

Water shutoff protection $125,000
Foreclosure prevention $60,000
Eviction protection $120,000
Subotal $305,000

An additional $60,000 is budgeted for the City of Jackson and $20,000 for the Community Action Agency (CAA) to administer these programs. After resident feedback is collected and plans are approved, eligible residents will be able to apply to participate in these relief funds. CAA is working with the City to administer these planned programs. “This partnership will allow us to provide needed services to the greatest number of people both in the City of Jackson and Jackson County. It is only with this type of coordination will we be able to mitigate the economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Toby Berry, CEO of CAA.

Mayor Derek Dobies says leaders are still making plans for the rest of the COVID-19 funds, but this is an important first step. “The coronavirus pandemic has created hardship for a lot of Jackson families and it’s incumbent that we use these funds to protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Mayor Dobies. “Keeping people in their homes, and keeping water turned on, will better help protect public health as we begin to reopen our City.”

Resident feedback on this proposed funding can be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office using clerksoffice@ cityofjackson.org or the City Hall drop box by 5:00 p.m. on May 26. Comments will be read aloud during the hearing. The council meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and can be viewed on the City’s Facebook page, website, and Comcast Cable Channel 21.

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