JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) — The future of the downtown Jackson area is starting with a vision from the community.

“If we are able to successfully build some great units for people in the downtown area then our residents some of their greatest hopes will come true,” said Hakim Crampton, Project Manager for the Choice Neighborhood Plan. 

Crampton grew up in Jackson. He’s spent years walking these downtown streets. Today he’s one of many people who is calling for more affordable housing.

“We have so many families that’s stacked on top of each other, living with each other and we just need, families need an opportunity for affordable housing and good accessible housing,” said Crampton.

That’s where Adam Rosa comes in. He’s part of a group called the Choice Neighborhood Plan. Rosa and his team from Chicago are bringing the City of Jackson to the drawing board to work to better improve the area.

“It’s not really our plan. It’s Jackson’s plan. And at the heart of the community is the Jackson Housing Commission residents who live at Reed manor which is really our identified target housing site for the grant,” said Rosa.

The building is more than fifty years old. The city says planning is in the early stages, but the hope is to not only completely reinvent affordable housing here, but also to spread out more units throughout the city.

“The housing could be anything from a high rise to a townhouse or revamping single-family homes. So, this is a really important first step to planning for the future,” said Aaron Dimick, the Public Information Officer for the City of Jackson.

Crampton says it’s about the hope this could bring to families.

“That in itself is a winning moment in our community to have residents in our community to be met with the resources they need, the housing stability and ultimately the happiness that they want in life.”

Planning is still in the initial stages and that’s expected to take around 18 months.

The team is still looking to hear from residents on what they want to see happen both downtown and in surrounding areas.

Want to give input? Click here.