NWA Housing Report Workshop

 

The NWA Regional Planning Commission hosted its second of three workshops on housing in NWA. They are gathering housing information from Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, and Fayetteville.

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They provided a summary of what they gathered from the first meeting.

The common concerns related to housing in NWA overall included:

  1. Stronger tenant rights

  2. Homes for larger households

  3. Location of homes

  4. Persons experiencing homelessness

  5. Community reentry

Specifically, they gathered that from Fayetteville that housing should be:

  1. Transportation considerate for jobs and access to services

  2. Safe, secure, and healthy

  3. Affordable across the income spectrum

The key housing issues affecting Fayetteville include:

  1. Potential for rapid community change

  2. Housing + Transportation costs

  3. Loss of income-restricted units

  4. Need for more diverse housing options

  5. Limited affordability for persons with the lowest incomes

Fayetteville and the other cities pay above what’s considered affordable for combined housing and transportation costs.

  • Higher housing costs are pricing out some occupations from living near their jobs

  • The average household spending on Housing + Transportation costs is 46%

  • The annual transportation cost is $11,800

The loss of income-restricted homes is shrinking the supply of homes to lower income households in Fayetteville.

  • We need improved quality and long-term affordability of our existing supply

  • There a great potential for loss of private and federally funded assisted units

  • This puts homes for our families, seniors and persons with disabilities at top risk

Homes in Fayetteville are concentrated in only a few housing types. We need more variety of housing.

  • There are a lot of single-family homes

  • We need to offer something for smaller households ie. singles

  • There is an anticipated growth in families, followed by seniors

The four cities combined lack enough rental options for lower income households. There is a large share of lower income households paying more than 30% of their income on housing (this includes me).

The next steps are to:

  1. Develop recommendations for each city: Bentonville, Rogers, Springdale, and Fayetteville

  2. Vet those recommendations with local and regional stakeholders

  3. In December, we wil receive a Regional Housing Report

Tonight, we were charged to pick three top housing needs based on provided topics. We were asked, “What can be done regarding housing in NWA in the next 10 years.”

From my group we prioritized:

  1. Housing + Transportation Costs

  2. Need for more housing options

  3. Limited affordability for the lowest income levels


 
Sonia GutierrezComment