Fayetteville's Consolidated Plan for 1995 represents a collaborative effort on the part of private citizens; local non-profit service providers, including those concerned with homeless, Battered Women and Children, Abused Children Counseling Services, Health Services, Disability/Impaired Issues; and City Community Development Staff. The goal accomplished was to develop a list of activities that is both responsive to the needs identified by citizens, and are feasible in terms of the available resources and the project time period for completing the actions.
The City of Fayetteville sought input from all facets of the community, including citizens, service providers, homeless shelters, State and Local Government Officials, and other local entities in developing its consolidated plan and One-Year Action Plan. The goal was to involve the entire intellect and resources available to the community to develop activities that would comprehensively serve the citizens of Fayetteville, and the meet the needs identified during the citizen participation process. The City has carefully selected activities that could be undertaken and completed, which fulfilling commitments to activities that were in progress when the consolidated plan system was developed.
The City has implemented a Citizens Participation Plan developed in accordance with section 104(a)(3) of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The original plan has been amended to comply with the provisions of 24 CFR 91.105.
The City increased its effects to get more participation from citizens
during the 1995 public hearings. As a result, there was a noticeable increase
in the number of citizen participants during the planning and discussion of the
proposed activities for the 1995 consolidated plan. The participants also
included representatives form major non-profit service providers, including
those concerned with homeless, battered women and abused children, health
issues, housing counseling, and those concerned with disability/impaired issues.
The selection of proposed activities represents a collaborative effort of all
of these people and organizations, and input from the City's Community
Development Staff, and the actual activities shows that the City responded to
and was sensitive to the wishes of its citizens.
Fayetteville is the seat of Washington County located in the northwest corner of Arkansas. Fayetteville is the largest city in the region and is considered an economic, political, and culture center. The City has experienced growth at a rate of about two percent per year since 1970. The main campus of the University of Arkansas is located in the City, and it has a major impact in drawing residents, students, professionals, and businesses to this area. The University is the stabilizing influence on the entire community, and its effect is felt on the local economy and the community as a whole.
Unemployment in the City, and the Region in general, tends to be very low
(less than 4 percent) because of the rapid increase in manufacturing jobs. Some
of the major players include Campbell Soup Company, Tyson Foods, and JB Hunt
Transportation to name a few. The availability of jobs has parlayed the growth,
and have led to large-scale increases in new housing construction and the
expansion of service industries.
The City of Fayetteville has recently grown at an increased rate, both in terms of population and industrial and commercial ventures. The result is that current infrastructure, such as arterial roads, streets, drainage facilities, and public services, are no longer adequate to meet the needs of the current population, and the growth seems to be out of hand with regard to available services. Consequently the City has looked at ways in which it can influence the rate of growth in order to provide a more orderly development of the local area.
The most obvious shortfall is the lack of affordable housing that will meet the needs of the fastest growing segment of the population, that being the blue collar worker. Other problematic areas include traffic and services. Major Strategic planning with regard to growth is on-going, and the Five-Year Strategic Plan that was submitted as part of the Consolidated Plan is just the starting point to deal with the identified issues. Because of rapid changes that are on-going, it is imperative that the Strategic Plan be viewed in those terms because of the need to change to meet current needs as well as long-term needs.
Affordability - Over 86 percent of Extremely Low Income, Very Low Income, and Low Income families, including elderly and large families, are experiencing cost burden with regard to the rent that is paid. Cost burden is defined as those instances where rent is more than 30 percent of the family's household income.
This highlights the need for greater housing assistance in the City to relieve some of the rent burden shared by the affected families. Cost associated with new construction suggest that current LMI homeowners and elderly homeowners could not afford to build their existing units.
Housing Conditions - Over 65 percent of LMI owners, renters, elderly, and others live in units that are experiencing housing problems. The nature of problems varies with the age of the unit, and whether the owner is low income. Statistics show that those low income owners and minority property owners have the highest incident of housing problems. Rental properties will show the same results.
The City experienced a 32 percent increase in the number of housing units during the most recent decennial. It is noted that although the number of owner occupied units increased by 13.6 percent during this period, the number of such units actually decreased as a percentage of all units from 47.9 percent to 43.4 percent during this same period. This shows the trend in building, which has been more towards apartments, and speaks to the lack of affordable housing for the fastest growing segment of the City's population. The median value of owner occupied units increased from $45,300 in 1980 to $66,200 in 1990. It should be noted that there are no housing in this price range being built at this time. Consequently, rental units have increased at a faster rate even though rents have increased by more than 60 percent.
In developing the consolidated plan, homeless providers were asked to estimate the number of homeless persons in the service area in terms of those sheltered and unsheltered. The results shows that services for homeless appear to be adequate for current needs. Additionally, the Salvation Army Emergency is expanding its emergency services within the next year. Also, it should be noted that the City supports other agencies that serve potentially homeless families and persons with assistance to entities such as the Battered Women and Children Shelter, and Youth Bridge Children Center.
The Fayetteville Housing Authority operates 252 public housing units in Fayetteville, all of which are rented to very low income families. The units operate at full capacity, which tends to highlight the need for additional rental units for that income group. Additionally, the PHA operates 375 units of Section 8 certificates and vouchers, all of which are tenant based. It is estimated that an additional 50 units is needed just to take care of the extremely low and very low income families during the next three years.
The City recognizes that the biggest barrier to affordable housing is the rapid increase in land costs, and increases in building materials. This coupled with a rapid increase in blue collar workers creates a situation where there is a disparity in the potential homeowner's buying potential and the actual cost of new houses. In order to mitigate this barrier and to encourage the development of affordable housing, the City adopted a 20-year General Land Use Plan that included specific initiatives to facilitate the development of affordable housing. Some of the initiatives include:
Lead-based paint education and abatement measures are incorporated in the policies of the Residential Rehabilitation Program for all housing, but particularly for those households that have small children. These measures are monitored on an on-going basis, and are carried as a part of the activity. A survey of local health agencies revealed that there have been no reported incidences of elevated lead levels. Additionally, the Fayetteville Housing Authority conducted testing for lead presence in public housing units, and there were no incidents detected. Other data indicates that there are 2,709 low income renter households and 835 low income owners that are at risk for lead-based paint hazards. Because of the absence of reported problems, the City has concluded that this is not a significant health issue. We will continue to train and educate LMI homeowners under existing guidelines and will update or change those guidelines to conform to current guidance from HUD regarding lead-based paint.
The City of Fayetteville is employing a Neighborhood Strategy Area approach to dealing with the massive problems found in some communities. The Southeast Target Area (NSA) has been selected as the area of concentration, and it is anticipated that this will be the area of concentration for the next three years. The idea is to deal with the problems in the neighborhood in a comprehensive manner to bring about total revitalization of this LMI area. Activities planned for the area include housing rehabilitation, street improvements, sidewalks, and a senior center.
The Community Development Department is the lead agency for administration
and implementation of all CPD funded activities. The Fayetteville Housing
Authority administers assisted and public housing services in Fayetteville and
Washington County. These agencies coordinate with other agencies and non-profit
service providers in providing a full range of services for residents of
Fayetteville and surrounding areas. Other agencies include Farmers Home
Administration, Life Styles, Inc., Ozark Guidance Center, Northwest Arkansas
Adult Development Center, Abilities Unlimited, Inc., Washington Regional Medical
Center, The Council on Aging, Inc., and many others. State agencies include the
Arkansas Development Finance Authority with regard to the HOME Program.
The priorities identified for CDBG and related funds for the City of Fayetteville were developed with deference to providing maximum benefit to low and moderate income persons, and undertaking some activities that will serve to remove slums, blight, and/or blighting influences. The major focus is to rebuild our neighborhoods while providing needed community services to ensure sound health, provide educational opportunities, provide transportation services for elderly persons, provide a source of recreational and vocational activities for our elderly population, provide improvements to local parks and facilities to serve our families with children, and to provide housing assistance to homeowners who are low and moderate income. These resources will be coupled with local resources and those of affected local non-profits to provide a full array of services and assistance to LMI residents of our city.
The number one housing priority will involve providing assistance for rehabilitation of owner occupied units. Rehabilitation funds have been made in the form of deferred payment loans to prevent windfalls to those owners who sell shortly after receiving the assistance. Another priority that has the potential of reaching more families is that of providing assistance to LMI home buyers with up to 50 percent of the down payment and closing costs associated with acquisition of houses for their principal residence. These activities will assist in meeting the identified need of LMI persons living in houses that are in need of repairs, and in removing the most common barrier (funds for closing) to a LMI family buying a home.
The Fayetteville Housing Authority has a priority of making improvements to their Public Housing Developments over a five year period in order to improve or maintain the livability of the units. This includes both interior and exterior improvements.
These priorities include those activities that are targeted to the Southeast Neighborhood Strategy Area. Activities include Construction of a Community Center, Construction of a Senior Citizens Activity Center, Infrastructure Improvements, including Streets, Drainage, and Sidewalks, Improvements to the Northwest Arkansas Health Clinic (building), Implementation of a Neighborhood Watch Program in the Southeast NSA, making handicapped assessable housing citywide, and educational outreach activities that will build the capacity of neighborhood organizations regarding the development of affordable housing and Fair Housing issues.
The high level of employment and overall economic health of Northwest Arkansas Region and the City of Fayetteville in particular, suggest that a formal anti-poverty strategy is not needed. The City of Fayetteville is generally considered to be at full employment. Because of the shortage of workers brought on by the growth in manufacturing jobs, even service industry jobs command what is considered a living wage. The continued policies and good environment for business that has prompted growth in economic development such that every one who wants a job can find one is the best anti-poverty strategy.
The City anticipates a CDBG formula allocation of $690,000 for the 1995 Fiscal Year. Additionally, it is anticipated that HOME funds of $240,000 will be received form the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, and $4,000 in Title XX funds for the Elderly Taxi Program. The City has earmarked General Revenues of $100,000 of assist with the proposed activities, and Worthen Bank has committed $150,000 to assist in funding home ownership by low and moderate income families. Other public funding include the Fayetteville Housing Authority, which will be for 252 units, and Section 8 Rental Assistance for 375 units. These funds will serve as the resources to complete those activities that are included in the One Year-Action Plan.
The Community Development department of the City of Fayetteville has been
selected as the led agency to coordinate the completion of activities included
in the Strategic Plan. As the led agency in preparing the Consolidated Plan,
and actually preparing the document, it is appropriate that they will be the
most familiar with the elements of the Strategic Plan, and have sufficient
information and expertise to bring all of the partners together to accomplish
the overall goals and objectives of the plan. Also this department is most
familiar with all of the funding sources involved, and will be able to ensure
the completion of proposed activities and effect changes to suit current
conditions and challenges.
Citywide Residential Rehabilitation - Funds budgeted for this activity is $169,064.
The activity will provide direct assistance to LMI homeowners to complete repairs needed to bring units up to City codes and allowable general improvements.
Southeast Fayetteville Community Center - These funds will be used to construct a neighborhood center in the Southeast NSA. The project is in response to comments from citizens with regard to the need of a facility to provide activities for young people between the ages of 10-18. Funds of $125,000 have been earmarked for this activity, with additional funds from City General Revenues and private donations.
Northwest Arkansas Health Center - This activity will provide health and dental service free of charge for low and moderate income persons. The funds will be used to make needed improvements to their existing office space. Funds of $250,000 have been earmarked for this activity. This activity is currently located in an LMI area that is central most of the LMI service areas in the city.
Acquisition/Clearance - This activity will involve the acquisition of condemned structures, the demolition and clearance of the sites, and the leveling of the lots for future housing development activities. In all instances, units will be those that have not been lived in for at least one year. Funds of $7,000 have been budgeted for this activity. The locations will be in LMI areas.
Home Buyer Assistance Program - LMI home buyers will be assisted with up to 50 percent of the down payment and closing costs in acquiring personal residences. This will be worked in conjunction with Worthen Bank, which has committed $150,000 to provide funding for permanent financing. CDBG Funds of $35,000 have been earmarked for this activity. The locations will be Citywide.
Fayetteville Elderly Taxi Program - CDBG funds of $23,000 will be combined with Title XX funds of $4,000 to provide subsidized cab fare for elderly persons. This activity will be coordinated with the Area Agency on Aging for Northwest Arkansas. This will also be a Citywide activity.
General Program Administration - Funding to pay the general and administrative costs associated with the CDBG and related programs and indirect costs. The total budget for this line item is $90,948.
City of Fayetteville Community Development Department. See information under coordination.
With regard to renters, the Fayetteville Housing Authority submitted an application for the comprehensive Grant Program for funding to complete physical improvements to public housing complexes. The application identified needs of $3.5 Million with an annual funding request of $267,247. With regard to homeowners, CDBG and HOME funds when combined will provide assistance to approximately 30 homeowners. The actual number of units assisted will be determined by the level of repairs needed, however based on the average historical cost per unit, our goal is to assist 30 homeowners.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects.
Ms. Jan Simco
Community Development Director
City of Fayetteville
PH: (501) 575-8261
Fax: (501) 575-8316