Community Development Division
Created by the National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (NAHA) HOME is a Federally-funded, large scale grant program for housing. The intent of HOME is:
To strengthen the abilities of State and local governments to provide housing.
To assure that federal housing services, financing and other investments are provided to State and local governments in a coordinated, supportive fashion.
The HOME Program must be used to promote low-income, affordable housing activities (defined as 80% or less of area median family income, adjusted for family size)
Community Development Block Grant
Created by Congress with Passage of Title I of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1974. HUD's CDBG Program was intended to:
- Consolidate programs and services
- Replace existing Urban Renewal and Model Cities Programs and
- Place more responsibility in the hands of local governments concerning the expenditure of Federal Funds
- Benefits principally low and moderate-income persons (Incomes at or below 80% of area median income)
- Eliminates slum and blight (Required to remedy slum and blighting conditions, so this criteria is rarely used.)
- Urgent Need (HUD has established a high threshold for this criteria, which includes tornado, flood, or other natural disasters.
- Must be fundable activity, which is established by Federal guidelines.
Little Rock is fortunate to have an in-depth participation process. While Federal CDBG regulations require public hearings and citizen input into the planning process, Little Rock's Citizen Participation Plan truly works to promote maximum self-direction in local neighborhoods. During the early years of the CDBG Program, funding was awarded in the amounts sufficient to provide every designated CDBG neighborhood the opportunity to participate in planning and subsequently recommend projects to the Little Rock City Board of Directors. The organizing issue was not "whether" a low-income neighborhood could utilize CDBG Funds for a project but "which" project the neighborhood would recommend to the Little Rock City Board of Directors.
Over the years, as the number of entitlement cities increased and with growing concern over deficit spending by Congress, Little Rock's CDBG Grants decreased. In recent years, neighborhoods had to reduce the scope and number of projects recommended for funding. Citizens in each Ward now compete to secure a recommendation of their proposals to the Little Rock City Board of Directors.
The current Citizen Participation Plan is structured so that each Ward is represented on the Consolidated Planning Committee, which makes recommendations directly to the Little Rock City Board of Directors on proposed CDBG activities and funding.
Public Facility Projects
Approximately $2,824,701 in CDBG Funds have been expended to improve streets, drainage, and infrastructure facilities. During the first thirty (30) years of the CDBG Program, more than thirty (30) miles of Little Rock streets have been improved, 23.5 miles of drainage facilities have been installed, and thirty-eight (38) miles of sidewalks have been constructed. Many residents continue to benefit from these improvements every day without realizing that CDBG Funds made them possible.
Wheelchair Ramp Program
The City's CDBG Program, in conjunction with Mainstream, Inc., and the AT&T Telephone Company Pioneers, provides the Wheelchair Ramp Program to low-income, disabled individuals in Little Rock. The CDBG Program purchases necessary materials, and the AT&T Telephone Company Pioneers build the ramps as a public service project.
The Wheelchair Ramp Program has been funded by CDBG for fifteen (15) years and has completed 341 ramps at a total cost of $246,543. Because project labor is donated, the ramps can be constructed for the cost of materials alone, which averages approximately $723 each. This activity is another example of how CDBG touches and improves the lives of citizens in need of assistance.
Low-income potential homebuyers may apply for the Save-A-Home Program. The City acquires from time-to-time a house that is basically sound; however, needs extensive repairs. The City thoroughly rehabilitates the structure, then sells it to a low-income homebuyer at a cost as much as $10,000 below the total investment by the City if necessary to make it affordable.
A list of the houses available for sale can be obtained by calling (501) 371-6825
Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOS)
Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs) are neighborhood based non-profits that partner with the City of Little Rock for funding to develop affordable housing. CHDOs are currently building in targeted areas throughout the City of Little Rock. To learn more about the current homes for sale by the CHDOs, they may be contacted directly at:
Better Community Developers
Darryl Swinton, Executive Director
Downtown Little Rock CDC
Vacant, Executive Director
University District Development Corporation
Barrett Allen, Community Development Program Officer
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Elderly Home Repair Program
Homeowners who are sixty-two (62) years of age or older, or disabled, and whose income does not exceed program guidelines, may be considered for a Elderly Housing Program Forgivable Loan. This is a deferred payment loan of up to $25,000 to make necessary repairs to bring the home up to the minimum housing code. If the maximum loan amount is not sufficient to bring the house up to minimum code standard, no loan will be made unless the homeowner has the ability to contribute the difference between the $25,000 program assistance and the total cost to repair the home. The City requires a lien against the home to ensure that the borrower continues to own and occupy the home. The lien will be released, with no further obligation to the City, after of period of five (5) – ten (10) years, depending on the amount of assistance provided. If the owner conveys title within this time period, the loan must be repaid by the owner in order to release the lien. In the event the owner dies during the restrictive period, the City will release the lien on the property. This program is in very high demand, and the funds allocated for this program are exhausted every year. Please contact the CDBG and Housing Office at (501) 371-6825 for the date that applications will next be accepted.
Leveraged Home Rehabilitation Loans
Low-income persons who own and occupy their home within Little Rock may apply at any time for a "Leveraged Rehabilitation Loan." Applicants must be willing and able to borrow 50% of the total rehabilitation costs from a bank. The remaining 50% of the costs will be provided by the City in the form of a forgivable loan. These funds are forgiven by the City over a period of five (5) to ten (10) years, depending on the amount of the loan, provided the homeowner continues to own and occupy the home.
The City gives technical assistance to help the homeowner determine Code deficiencies, describe the work needed, estimate costs, apply for the bank loan, find a reliable contractor who will do the work for a fair price, and assure that the contracted work is done in keeping with industry standards. The applicant must have a warranty deed to the property; that is, there may be a mortgage on the home, but a contract to buy is not acceptable. If the repairs will cost less than $3,000, assistance will not be provided. The structure must be sound and total indebtedness secured by the property, including both rehab loans, must not exceed 110% of the fair market value of the home after rehabilitation.
Housing and Counseling
The following organizations provide homebuyer and/or credit counseling to residents of the City who are interested in purchasing a home. Classes are designed to educate the client on proper use of credit, budgeting, and how to purchase a home. Convenient evening and weekend courses are available. Further information about these classes may be obtained by contacting:
Better Community Developers
For More Information
Kevin Howard, Acting Manager
Community Development Division
Little Rock City Hall Room
500 West Markham Street, Room 120W
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 399-3461 (Fax)