Madison County supervisors have given low-income housing partnerships in Canton until January to clean up three different overgrown lots, some with trash and other debris. 

Three different apartment complexes owned by Intervest Corporation were discussed last week after failed attempts to have the properties brought up to code. The properties are located at 707 Mace St., 1106 Holmes Ave., and 1110 Holmes Ave. They are Canton Manor, Royal Estates and Madison Heights apartments. 

The limited partnerships — Canton Housing One, L.P.; Canton Housing Three L.P.; and Canton Housing Four L.P.; were all registered by Steve Nail of Jackson. All are owned by Intervest Corporation, according to online records by the Mississippi Secretary of State. 

Intervest also has similar housing partnerships in Columbus, Meridian and throughout the state.

Kelly Hardwick, an attorney and former state personnel director, spoke to supervisors on behalf of the limited partnerships. 

Hardwick said they had been working on securing an out-of-state investor to upgrade the properties but that fell through. 

“In housing, it can be a little labor-intensive and these deals that get put together take a good long while,” he said. “Two years ago we had a deal in place.” 

Hardwick said the deal fell through and now they have been working with a local group to try and fix up all the properties. 

He asked for some time to put financing packages together in hopes of securing an investor. He initially asked for 90 days, saying there won’t be much growth in the winter months. 

District 5 Supervisor Paul Griffin asked why they couldn’t go out now and clean up the area. 

“Go out there and clean up that old dumped furniture,” he said. “Mow the grass or bush hog the grass. It will look a little more decent than what it’s looking like now.”

Hardwick said he had hopes the current management group would have taken care of it but said they will “do all we can to get it looking as well as it is for part of the area that has been abandoned.”

Griffin said they had received a lot of phone calls about the complexes being abandoned.. 

District 4 Supervisor David Bishop asked when they first received notice the property needed to be cleaned. 

Hardwick said they received notice in the middle of November. 

Bishop said they had three properties that needed cleaned and it shouldn’t take 90 days. Hardwick responded he wanted 90 days to work out financing. Bishop said that was fine but they needed to clean the places up in the interim.

“I think the cleanup shouldn’t take any time at all,” Bishop said. “Go out there and cut the grass. Clean it up and get it presentable.”

Hardwick said he would go out and speak with his client, but that he didn’t want to confirm a 30-day window and bind him to anything.

Scott Weeks, planning and zoning director, then told supervisors the buildings themselves weren’t in question, it was the lots, adding there were couches in one field.

“In my personal opinion, people have torn down houses in less than a week,” Weeks said. “I think a report back in two weeks, weather-permitting, it should be done relatively quick.”

Griffin asked Hardwick if that was feasible, and Hardwick again said he didn’t want to commit his client to any hard timeline. 

Griffin then made a motion to give them 30 days to clean up the property before the county moves forward with penalties. The motion passed unanimously.