The Paragould Housing Authority is in the money for its planned Hillside Manor facility.

According to information made available by PHA Executive Director David Lange, the Paragould Housing Development Corporation has received $6.35 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as well as $1.45 million in low-interest loans from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA).

The Paragould Housing Development Corporation is a not-for-profit affiliate of the PHA.

“The tax credits are for the corporations that work with the developer, S.E. Clark, to build the facility,” Lange said. “The loan is one of only 10 that were approved throughout the state of Arkansas.”

Information he made available indicated that a total of 22 housing authorities had made applications totaling $22.5 million for the loans. PHA’s loan of $1.45 million was out of a total of $9.2 million in approved loan requests.

The funds and tax credits are to fund construction of the 48-unit facility at 2002 Rector Road, directly across the street from the Greene County Health Unit. It is to feature 24 duplexes, of which some will be one-bedroom, while others will be two-bedroom. In addition, some of each type would be handicapped-accessible, and each unit is to have a carport. The facility, with its two rows of 12 units, will also feature a community building.

Now that funding is available, Lange said, one of the first things that will happen is actual purchase of the 10-acres parcel of land that is to constitute Hillside Manor from owner Carmella Cooper. With the intended purchase in mind, the Paragould City Council had rezoned Cooper’s land from Agriculture to Residential R-2 at its Feb. 24 meeting.

“It could take a couple of months before the money starts flowing,” Lange said.

Thereafter, progress should be rapid. “We expect to start sometime in the fall,” Lange said, “and to finish in early 2021.”

The units, Lange said, are to house low- to moderate-income families, as well as the elderly. “But we won’t be taking reservations (for occupancy) until they are actually built,” he said.

The Paragould Housing Development Corporation is the project sponsor, co-developer, and property manager. Paragould Housing Authority has partnered with S.E. Clark and Associates, Inc. to serve as the project’s developer. S.E. Clark and Associates, Inc., with an office in Little Rock, is an award-winning developer of affordable housing with more than 30 years’ experience. Studio 6 Architects, of Fort Smith, has designed the project, while Little Rock-based Craig Custom Construction, LLC will serve as its general contractor.

Information Lange made available also indicated the Paragould Housing Authority was recently awarded a National Award of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) based on its Back to School Backpack Program. According to the citation in the NAHRO Awards booklet, PHA staff realized their families needed help in obtaining school supplies for their children. They worked with a local bank which agreed to provide $1,800 in donated funds to help buy backpacks for all the students living in their development. The staff was thus able to buy backpacks for more than 60 students living in the development, plus $25 in school supplies. “This program continues to grow each year and has now become one of their biggest events,” the citation concluded.

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