FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Excellerate Foundation, Strategic Realty, and New Heights Church broke ground Monday on an affordable rental development in West Fayetteville.
The purpose of the development called “Cobblestone Farm Community,” is to provide easily accessible, affordable housing with a twist. The groups are working together to give residents resources, one of the most notable being Cobblestone Farms, located right next door to the new development.
One of the co-directional leaders for New Heights Church, Jim Hall, said the church was approached 3 years ago by the Excellerate Foundation. The church was able to offer up 15 acres of land for the housing development. The Cobblestone Farms land, right next door, is also owned by the church.
According to Hall, the farm will work hand in hand with residents of the new rental properties.
“They will have opportunities to have experimental learning experiences with Cobblestone Farms. They’ll also have some food provided in the form of protein as well as vegetables. We’ve got all kinds of ideas about how to make this a real community,” said Hall.
Cobblestone Farms is still working to figure out the involvement the residential community will have in the farm, but Hall said it will be an integral part of the community.
“There will probably be an outlet store on the front of the property for the farm products,” said Hall.
Rental property prices will range from $365 to $625 monthly, with one to four-bedroom duplexes listed. The community will house about 100 families.
What started all of the discussion surrounding this unique low-income housing idea was the growing need for affordable housing in Northwest Arkansas.
“Affordable housing at that price for the quality of life we’re going to have here is a phenomenal benefit,” said Hall.
Ali Johnson, with the Excellerate Foundation, said the low-income housing project is set apart from other affordable housing complexes.
“Cobblestone Farm Community’s mission is to ensure that people from different backgrounds, different socioeconomic statuses are living and doing life together,” said Johnson.
Along with Cobblestone Farms as a resource, Potter’s House will offer opportunities through an on-site community center to help engage and connect residents. Social services will also be provided through Hark, a program within the Excellerate Foundation.
Hall hopes the Cobblestone Farm Community will be a guide for future non-profits who want to come up with creative ways to create affordable housing options.
“We want this to be a model for other communities in Arkansas and in the region. We certainly intend to be a resource for them if no one else is going to do it,” said Hall.
The rental development is expected to be complete by late 2023 or early 2024.