TUPELO • Construction work is underway at two housing projects on Ida Street that are part of the city’s efforts to revitalize once blighted neighborhoods to encourage more people to live in the area.

Two housing complexes, King Pines and Hancock Estates, are building single family homes that will be specifically targeted to working families to rent at an affordable rate.

Britton Jones, the owner of King Pines, said construction work began on his property last month, and said all of the houses he is building will contain three bedrooms and four bathrooms and be approximately 1,400 square feet. The houses will be located on the corner of Ida Street and off of Monument Drive.

“The rent will be around $685 per month,” Jones said. “We’re doing a tax credit program where we get tax credits through the state, and we have private investors investing into the property. So, there’s not really any public funding. It’s a little bit different, but we’ve been working with the city for a few years. We’re trying to revitalize that area of town. “

Jones said he expects a lot of people will want to rent the houses, and he hopes to have the houses built and ready for people to move in by next summer.

“The houses will also be leased purchases, meaning whoever lives there for the first 15 years will have the first right of refusal to purchase those houses at a discounted rate.”

The owner of Hancock Estates could not immediately be reached for comment regarding his property, but Pat Falkner, director of developmental services for the city, told the Daily Journal he had issued a building permit for the property, which will be located on the north and south ends of Ida Street.

“This will be an unusual project for us with so many of these projects going up at one time, but the construction companies have done this before,” Falkner said. “They are familiar with building a lot of houses at once. We have a lot of eyes on this.”

Both projects are set to be completed by next summer.

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