FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In less than two weeks, Fayetteville voters will choose someone to fill the vacant city council Ward 1 seat.

Each of the four candidates believes they have the expertise to help with the lack of affordable housing in the city.

“We’ve got significant housing shortages. Housing costs have accelerated. Rentals have accelerated,” said S. Robert Smith one of the candidates.

He says the housing crisis can be addressed using his aerospace engineering background.

“I have a lot of those skills. And so that’s where I would apply is helping the city move faster to address housing period,” said Smith.

“We need to encourage the right type of development. We must address our outdated codes and zoning,” said candidate Robert Stafford.

Stafford believes it’s his experience with the arts council that’ll help him deal with the issue.

“We need to make it easier for people to build the things that we say we want them to build in our 2040 plan,” said Stafford.

“Most constituents that are most concerned about is the affordable housing issue that we have in Fayetteville,” said candidate Katy Sager.

After 21 years in real estate, Sager says her knowledge of the market can help her take on affordable housing.

“I think I could definitely offer some assistance in trying to bridge that gap with those other communities so that we can try to pull our resources,” said Sager.

David D. Phillips says his military background and work in municipal government sets him apart from the others.

“We have a number of private institutions that we can partner with. I think to get more out of what we’re spending,” said Phillips.

He says he’s also done some research on what the city council has done so far.

“They not only looked internally at the economy, but they also looked at what some other cities had concluded, having tried to deal with this problem,” said Phillips.

Early voting for the election begins November 7 and the Special Election is set for November 14.