06 Jan Mississippi Center for Justice Files Brief Opposing a Lawsuit Seeking to Reverse the City of Tupelo’s Approval of New Affordable Housing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2023
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Mississippi Center for Justice Files Brief Opposing a Lawsuit Seeking to Reverse the City of Tupelo’s Approval of New Affordable Housing
Jackson, Miss. — The Mississippi Center for Justice (MCJ) has filed an amicus brief in Lee County’s Circuit Court on behalf of the City of Tupelo and the developers of Flowerdale Commons, a planned affordable multifamily housing community. A handful of white-owned businesses and white residents in the City of Tupelo have appealed the Tupelo City Council’s decision to approve the construction of Flowerdale Commons, which would create stable multifamily housing for 46 working families during the City’s current affordable housing crisis. Having a sufficient supply of housing that is affordable to working families has been shown to strengthen economies and improve health and safety outcomes for residents. Read the full brief here.
Mississippi is in dire need of housing that is affordable to working families. In Mississippi, over 40 percent of renters are cost-burdened, paying 30 percent or more of their income on rent. The percentage of cost-burdened renters is more than double that in Lee County. Affordable housing requires large amounts of capital investment; this suit could have the practical effect of shutting out developers who are considering building affordable housing in Mississippi to help combat the state’s affordable housing crisis.
“Affordable housing is a sound investment that strengthens communities and makes Mississippi an attractive place to live,” said Vangela M. Wade, President and CEO of MCJ. “Affordable housing is crucial to helping families achieve financial stability and escape poverty. We should all be committed to helping our most vulnerable neighbors and building a brighter future for our state.”
“We are proud to file an amicus brief in support of the City of Tupelo and the developers seeking to build affordable housing,” said Paloma Wu, Deputy Director of Impact Litigation at MCJ. “Simply put, too many in Lee County and across Mississippi are struggling to get by and afford rent, and there is a shortage of decent and safe housing. All Mississippians deserve access to affordable housing.”
The amicus brief asks the court to affirm the City of Tupelo’s approval of the developers’ application to build Flowerdale Commons.
The Mississippi Center for Justice is dedicated to dismantling the state’s culture of inequity and injustice. Supported and staffed by attorneys and other professionals, the Center develops and pursues strategies to combat discrimination and poverty statewide.