Arkansas Housing

David Monteith / KUAR News

Little Rock and North Little Rock are one step closer to getting affordable housing and shared work spaces for artists. On Tuesday night, the national non-profit Artspace announced its plan to move forward to the second stage of development in central Arkansas. A feasibility study conducted in July convinced the organization of the region's interest and potential, so a survey of area artists and creative businesses has been launched.

Ben Carson
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

While touring a housing development complex in Little Rock, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said the proposed budget for the department in the year 2020, which faces an 18 percent cut, is likely not to change. 

The annual Fair Housing/ Fair Lending Conference kicks off Tuesday with a movie screening of 13th  followed by a panel discussion at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock. Speakers from the local state and national level are scheduled to speak at the conference.

Ben Carson, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, will be the last keynote speaker on Friday.  Carol Johnson, executive director of the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission which hosts the event, says she's excited to hear what he decides to speak about. 

Sarah Kellogg / KUAR

A bill that establishes a statewide warranty of habitability for residential rental properties in Arkansas has stalled in a House committee. 

The House Insurance and Commerce committee failed to pass the bill by a slim margin on Monday, coming up one vote short of the 11 needed to pass. Currently, Arkansas is the only state in the country without an implied warranty of habitability.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson looking at demonstrators outside of Parris Tower in Little Rock.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson made three stops in central Arkansas on Tuesday and was greeted at each destination by demonstrators opposed to his recent proposals for new public housing restrictions. 

Take a listen to the audio link above for the story.

C-SPAN

Ben Carson, the one-time presidential candidate and current Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, is making several stops in North Little Rock on Tuesday. It comes as

David Monteith / KUAR

On Monday Habitat for Humanity opened the doors to the 15th home it's built this year in central Arkansas.

“Wow! Are you serious,” asked Horace Grant as he walked into his new home for the first time.

Most recipients of Habitat for Humanity’s zero-interest loans spend a portion of their time working on the home they will eventually move into. Mr. Grant was a rare exception, who instead spent his time volunteering on homes intended for others.

August home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets were off the pace of the previous three months, but sales for the first eight months of the year are up more than 8% and the value of those sales is up more than 13.5%. Homes are also selling faster in the four markets.

The healthy year-to-date pace in Arkansas is driven by an almost 14% gain in Northwest Arkansas home sales and a more than 6% gain in central Arkansas.

State Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Arkansas is the only state to not require rental properties to meet health and safety standards. On Wednesday the House Insurance and Commerce Committee declined to advance a bill guaranteeing habitability.

Republican Representative Robin Lundstrum was in the majority casting votes against the legislation.

(left) AFHC Exec. Dir. Carol Johnson testifying to Leg. Audit - State Agencies in November.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission is facing scrutiny for purchasing an advertisement in 2013 for a Democratic Black Caucus publication. Lawmakers moved forward Monday with plans to involve the state’s attorney general after reviewing an assessment of the commission.

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for a housing agency's executive director over claims he didn't provide documents requested by an Arkansas newspaper.

District Judge Alice Lightle signed the warrant Thursday for Rodney Forte, the executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Alliance. An arrest affidavit by the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office states Forte is facing a misdemeanor charge of failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

A prosecutor says Forte wasn't taken into custody but will have to appear later in court.

A coalition pushing a $3 million homeless campus in Fort Smith hopes to soon shore up funding and finalize a plan so renovation work can start later this year.

The Old Fort Homeless Coalition plans to purchase and renovate a 127,500-square-foot former furniture factory to start Riverview Hope Campus. The first phase of the project will renovate about 35,000 square feet of the factory at a cost of more than $1 million.

May 31 Deadline To Assess Arkansas Personal Property

May 24, 2013

The Arkansas lands commissioner is reminding residents that they have until May 31 to assess their personal property. 

Lands Commissioner John Thurston says people who don't have their property assessed by the deadline are subject to penalties.

The taxes are important to counties, public schools and numerous agencies, including public safety forces.

Thurston says communities can miss out on funding if property isn't assessed on time.