Arkansas Housing

August home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets were off the pace of the previous three months, but sales for the first eight months of the year are up more than 8% and the value of those sales is up more than 13.5%. Homes are also selling faster in the four markets.

The healthy year-to-date pace in Arkansas is driven by an almost 14% gain in Northwest Arkansas home sales and a more than 6% gain in central Arkansas.

The Arkansas Realtors Association says the number of houses sold in March made a big jump over the same period last year. Sales of homes across the state increased by 15 percent over March of last year, according to the Realtors Association. They say the prices of those homes also rose by an average of 8 percent over the same time the previous year.

State Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville)
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas is the only state to not require rental properties to meet health and safety standards. On Wednesday the House Insurance and Commerce Committee declined to advance a bill guaranteeing habitability.

Republican Representative Robin Lundstrum was in the majority casting votes against the legislation.

(left) AFHC Exec. Dir. Carol Johnson testifying to Leg. Audit - State Agencies in November.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The Arkansas Fair Housing Commission is facing scrutiny for purchasing an advertisement in 2013 for a Democratic Black Caucus publication. Lawmakers moved forward Monday with plans to involve the state’s attorney general after reviewing an assessment of the commission.

A judge has issued an arrest warrant for a housing agency's executive director over claims he didn't provide documents requested by an Arkansas newspaper.

District Judge Alice Lightle signed the warrant Thursday for Rodney Forte, the executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Alliance. An arrest affidavit by the Pulaski County prosecuting attorney's office states Forte is facing a misdemeanor charge of failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

A prosecutor says Forte wasn't taken into custody but will have to appear later in court.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding more than $91,000 in federal grants to six Arkansas organizations to help families and individuals with their housing needs and to

prevent future foreclosures.

HUD Regional Administrator Tammye Trevino announced the grants Thursday that are to be used to help the agencies find suitable housing for low income families or to help the families keep the homes they have.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs

This month marks the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, initiating efforts to integrate schools around the country and especially in the American South where black and white children received largely unequal opportunities for education.

The administrative offices of the Hot Springs Housing Authority have been raided by federal agents with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General.

The Sentinel-Record reports that agents could be seen searching different offices, removing boxes and searching some vehicles in the parking lot.

More than 5,300 homeowners in Arkansas are facing flood insurance premium increases as the federal government reduces subsidies to the program.

The number comes from an Associated Press analysis of the National Flood Insurance Program. More than 2,300 business and vacation homeowners in Arkansas will have to pay more.

President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that limits the increases to up to 18 percent for owners of primary homes. Business owners and owners of vacation homes will see a mandatory 25 percent annual increase.

A coalition pushing a $3 million homeless campus in Fort Smith hopes to soon shore up funding and finalize a plan so renovation work can start later this year.

The Old Fort Homeless Coalition plans to purchase and renovate a 127,500-square-foot former furniture factory to start Riverview Hope Campus. The first phase of the project will renovate about 35,000 square feet of the factory at a cost of more than $1 million.