Housing Issues

Arkansas House approves work requirement for public housing recipients

BY: - February 6, 2023

A proposed Arkansas law that would require able-bodied adults to work or volunteer part time to receive federal housing assistance will head to the Senate after passing the House in a party-line vote Monday. Adults between the ages 19 and 64, except people with disabilities and participants in drug and alcohol treatment programs, would have […]

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin greets Big Country Chateau tenants (L-R) Clara Edmonston, Delores McDaniel and Jay Richard at a Jan. 26, 2023, tenants' rally in front of Little Rock City Hall. (Photo by Sonny Albarado)

Judge grants request to freeze assets, name receiver for Little Rock apartments

BY: - February 4, 2023

(This story was updated by Sonny Albarado on Feb. 4, 2023.) A Pulaski County circuit judge on Friday froze the assets of the owners of the troubled Big Country Chateau apartments in Little Rock and issued a temporary restraining order to protect tenants. Judge Cara Connors also granted Attorney General Tim Griffin’s emergency request to […]

SESSION SNAPSHOT: Arkansas Legislature rolls through Week 4 with ice and amendments

BY: - February 3, 2023

The fourth week of the Arkansas General Assembly’s 2023 legislative session brought lots of ice and amendments. Senate Bill 43, which targeted drag shows, has demanded the most attention of any legislation through the first month of the session, but by the time the House and Senate adjourned for the weekend, it had been so […]

Proposed work requirement for federal housing assistance advances in Arkansas House

BY: - February 2, 2023

A legislative committee approved a proposed Arkansas law on Wednesday that would require able-bodied adults to work or volunteer part-time to receive federal housing assistance. House Bill 1196 passed on a split vote after state lawmakers and witnesses debated the legality of the proposal and the feasibility of implementing it. Public housing benefits are administered […]

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin greets Big Country Chateau tenants (L-R) Clara Edmonston, Delores McDaniel and Jay Richard at a Jan. 26, 2023, tenants' rally in front of Little Rock City Hall. (Photo by Sonny Albarado)

Apartment tenants plead for help over unsafe conditions, pending utility cutoffs

BY: - January 26, 2023

Little Rock officials and state Attorney General Tim Griffin’s office are working to extend utility and water cutoff deadlines at Big Country Chateau, an apartment complex that faced similar service cutoffs last year. Tenants received notice recently that Entergy Arkansas will cut off power to the 151-unit complex on Feb. 6 and Central Arkansas Water […]

Health and safety risks at Little Rock house persist, tenant says

BY: - January 26, 2023

Terry Lauderdale and his two roommates live in a camper in the backyard of the house they rent on West 24th Street in Little Rock. The house itself is no longer livable because of nonworking drains and faucets, a broken water heater, and holes in the walls and ceilings, Lauderdale said. He is fed up […]

Conway transitional housing program to start in late 2023

BY: - December 29, 2022

Phillip Fletcher knew he had to start working on a transitional housing program in Conway after his friend Gary Harrison died in January 2016. Fletcher is the executive director of City of Hope Outreach, a community development organization he founded in 2007. Harrison lived in a trailer with a roommate, and they had a portable […]

House owned by landlord previously sued by AG no longer risks tenants’ life and safety, lawyer says

BY: - December 23, 2022

The house on West 24th Street in Little Rock where Terry Lauderdale and his two roommates live has had its problems since they moved in almost a year ago, he said. What caused the most distress for the tenants and caught the attention of city code inspectors was exposed electrical wiring. “A puppy bit into […]

In November, Colorado voters passed Prop 123, which will allow 0.1% of the state income tax rate to be used to increase the affordable housing stock among other provisions to help the unhoused. This man, who was living in an encampment in Boulder last year, said he had been on a housing wait list for a long time. (Derek Miles for Colorado Newsline)

Voters embraced affordable housing initiatives. Advocates say Congress should do the same.

BY: - December 15, 2022

Voters in Colorado approved a statewide affordable housing initiative in November, while voters in nine cities across the country OK’d measures to finance the construction of affordable housing, preserve existing rental properties and support renters. But as housing costs soar, analysts and advocates say more needs to be done and argue that federal action is […]

COMMENTARY
A "For Sale" in front of a house. Mortgage rates have fallen over the past month but remain above 2021 levels, leaving homes sitting on the market longer than during the pandemic boom.

The Fed hiked interest rates for the 7th time this year, so why are mortgage rates coming down?

BY: - December 15, 2022

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a percentage point on Dec. 14, 2022, to a range of 4.25 to 4.5%, the seventh increase this year. So far in 2022, the Fed has lifted its benchmark short-term rate, which influences most other borrowing costs in the economy, by 4.25 percentage points from a low […]

Man with face mask and blue shirt and gloves n front of white wall with mold

State settles 2019 lawsuit against Pulaski County landlord over health, safety risks

BY: - December 8, 2022

This brief has been updated at 2:15 p.m. on Dec. 8, 2022, with additional information about the settlement. The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office settled a lawsuit against a Little Rock and North Little Rock landlord in September, prohibiting the individual and his company from leasing units that risk the health and safety of the tenants. […]

A row of abandoned homes along a residential street in Cairo, Illinois, in 2021. Many small towns like Cairo have a surfeit of vacant housing, but people who need housing often don't live where the houses are. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The nation’s vacant homes present an opportunity — and a problem

BY: - November 28, 2022

With construction costs for new homes and interest rates soaring, vacant housing is drawing more attention as a shortcut to quickly getting more units on the market. But whether vacant homes are a curse or an opportunity depends on where you live. As housing affordability plummets and rents rise, putting more families with low incomes at risk […]