Fayetteville City Council to vote on affordable housing

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New Heights Church owns the 45 acres of land. Jim Hall, with the church, says as of now only about 10 acres are being used.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) – Cobblestone Farm is right off Wedington Dr. between 54th and 51st street.

“The land has sat here for 12 years,” Jim Hall said.

New Heights Church owns the 45 acres of land. Jim Hall, with the church, says as of now only about 10 acres are being used.

“All we’ve used it for so far is for another nonprofit to farm the land and provide food for food banks and basically the poor in our community,” Hall said.

But that’s going to change, Hall says he’s offered to lease part of the land to Endeavor Foundation – for free. The CEO of the foundation, Jeff Webster, says it’s looking to add affordable housing options for people with a household income of $29k – $68k and struggle to cover housing costs.

“That’s really of fabric if you will of Northwest Arkansas,” Webster said.

He says he was inspired to help after a study published by the Walton Family Foundation called on people to help families struggling to find a home they can afford. His answer – to build about 90 homes, a mix of duplexes and triplexes.

“Those folks need rents that are anywhere between $400 and $700 a month so that’s one-bedroom up to four-bedroom,” Webster said.

Hall says the units will take up at least a dozen acres at the front of the farm but the rest of the space will go towards growing the community.

“Potters House sorting and distribution center will be built here,” Hall said.

Hall and Webster say with the help of other nonprofits and businesses in the area – like the Potter’s House – they’re looking to build a community center and part of the farm into a community garden.

“The church is excited,” Hall said. “We’re just going to be happy to see something wonderful happening on the land.”

But before these plans can be put into action, Webster says they’ll need approval from the City Council on two proposals.

“They’ll vote on the annexation into the city and then the zoning that is required for what we’re doing,” Webster said.

Webster says the city will have to approve both measures to make the March 2nd deadline to apply for federal funds.

“It aligns with the planning commissions goals as far as bringing affordable housing,” Webster said. “It’s certainly a tax benefit coming into the city.

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