North Little Rock's $8.4 Million Neighborhood Stabilization Program Launches

Top Quote Federal funds provide opportunity to preserve neighborhoods hardest hit by foreclosed and abandoned properties. End Quote
  • Little Rock-North Little Rock, AR (1888PressRelease) September 14, 2010 - Today in a press conference and groundbreaking ceremony, North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays announced the launch of the North Rock Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP I and NSP II). NSP, supported by federal stimulus funds and administered and monitored by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created to stabilize distressed communities across the nation by purchasing, rehabilitating and newly constructing foreclosed and abandoned properties. North Little Rock (the City) received a total $8.43 million.

    For NSP I, the City submitted a grant and received $2.03 million from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority who serves as the administrator of the more than $19 million of NSP I funds that were awarded to the state in 2009. In fact, all states received a portion of the $3.9 billion in NSP I funding that was allocated based on how deeply devastated they were by the foreclosure crisis. Argenta Community Development Corporation (Argenta CDC) will be the housing developer for NSP I overseeing the construction of 13 new homes in the Baring Cross Neighborhood, located along Pike Avenue.

    As a consortium, Argenta CDC, Habitat for Humanity Pulaski County, North Little Rock Housing Authority and the City (lead grantee) were awarded $6.4 million for NSP II in a nationally competitive grant where applicants detailed their ideas and goals on how they would stem the wave of foreclosed and abandoned properties and revitalize their neighborhoods. Five hundred applications were received that totaled more than $15 billion. Fifty-six applications from 28 states were funded for an allotted $1.93 billion. Collectively, the consortium will redevelop at least 100 units of housing in selected census tracts in North Little Rock including the Baring Cross and Holt Neighborhoods.

    NSP homes will be sold and rented to very low to middle-income households whose incomes do not exceed 120 percent of area median income. For example, a family of four can earn a maximum of $70,900 for the Little Rock - North Little Rock - Conway MSA and qualify for an NSP home. Some potential homeowners will be eligible for down payment assistance. All potential homebuyers must attend an eight-hour homebuyer education class presented by a certified HUD counseling agency.

    "NSP funds provides a boost for these North Little Rock neighborhoods that are dealing with a crisis that has created many unstable communities across our country," said Mayor Hays. "We are fortunate to have a group of agencies working with the City to revitalize our neighborhoods by building and renovating safe, energy-efficient and affordable homes."

    All NSP homes will be Energy-Star compliant and contain some additional energy-efficient features with the plumbing, insulation, lighting and more. Some homes will also earn green certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Homes Program or the National Association of Homebuilders Green Building Program.

    Some NSP activities are currently underway such as acquisition. Construction and rehabilitation activities will begin this month. Homes will be sold, rented and occupied before February 2013. Potential homeowners do not need to be first-time homebuyers to purchase an NSP home, however, the home must be their primary residence. The HUD definition of a first time homebuyer is someone who has not owned a home in the last three years.

    According to the latest figures from RealtyTrac, an online foreclosure monitoring service, Arkansas reported 5,971 properties with foreclosure filings for the second quarter of 2010, a 4 percent decrease from the first quarter, but still 29 percent above the level reported in the second quarter of 2009.

    Activity level in Arkansas rose during the first half of 2010 as well as for the month of June. For the first six months of the year, Arkansas reported 11,093 properties with foreclosure filings, a 10 percent rise in activity from the second half of 2009 and 28 percent above the level reported mid-year 2009. In June the state tallied 2,202 properties with foreclosure filings, an increase of 2 percent from the previous month and up 32 percent from June 2009.

    Although foreclosure activity in Arkansas fell during the second quarter of this year, it remained elevated compared to the same time last year. The number of filings actually rose over the first half of 2010 as compared to the previous six-month period despite having an unemployment rate that is well below the national average. Arkansas's current unemployment rate is 7.4%, while the national rate is 9.5%.

    One in every 217 Arkansas housing units received a foreclosure filing during the quarter, giving the state the 22nd highest foreclosure rate in the nation. Pulaski County was third in foreclosures behind Benton and Washington.

    For additional information about North Little Rock's NSP, please contact 501-374-0622.

    About Neighborhood Stabilization Program
    Authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA), NSP I provides $3.92 billion in emergency funding in grants to states and localities to aid in the purchasing, rehabilitating, redeveloping, and reselling of foreclosed, vacant or abandoned homes to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of the property values of neighboring homes. NSP received $3.92 billion in 2008 that was allocated by formula to states and local governments. Congress provided an additional $1.93 billion for NSP II in the economic stimulus bill enacted in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). On September 8, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a third round of NSP funding for $1 billion. NSP III uses a need - based allocation like NSP I and was approved under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Arkansas will receive $5 million. For additional information about NSP, visit

    About Argenta Community Development Corporation
    Argenta CDC, based in North Little Rock, is a private 18 year- old 501 (c)3 with a mission to improve the economic vitality, quality of life, and sense of community in targeted neighborhoods through the development of quality housing, the promotion of homeownership, and the stimulation of economic growth. Argenta CDC has five areas of focus: single-family and multi-family housing development, commercial property development, "green" building for low and moderate income families, training and technical assistance for housing developers, and community development and outreach. For more information on Argenta CDC and its NSP activities, visit or call 501-374-0622.

    About Habitat for Humanity of Pulaski County
    Habitat for Humanity's (Habitat) mission is to eliminate substandard housing while providing simple, decent housing to qualified low-income families. Through tax-deductible donations of money and material, by utilizing volunteer labor and with the help of future homeowners, Habitat builds simple, decent, energy-efficient, and affordable homes. Houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with no-interest mortgages. Homeowners invest their own labor, called "sweat equity," into building their home and the homes of other Habitat families. This makes monthly payments affordable. The no-interest mortgages are paid back into a revolving "fund for humanity" account that is used to build more homes in Pulaski County for eligible homeowners. Habitat has built, financed and placed over families in homes since 1990. For more about Habitat's NSP activities visit or call 501-379-1580.

    About North Little Rock Housing Authority
    Established under the United States Housing Act of 1937, North Little Rock Housing Authority (NLRHA) has operated and managed affordable housing since 1941. NLRHA currently owns and operates more than 1100 public housing units, administers over 1200 housing choice vouchers, and manages 11 market rate rental properties. Their mission is to promote adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity and a suitable living environment free from discrimination. For more about the NLRHA NSP II activities, call (501) 758-8911.

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information