Friday, January 18, 2008

Hooray for Habitat for Humanity

Local developers have shown little interest in building affordable housing or designing environmentally appropriate housing projects, so this makes news of Washington County Habitat for Humanity's success especially welcome.

For 15 years, Habitat for Humanity has been addressing housing needs of low and moderate income families in Northwest Arkansas, this week it announced its 40th house sponsor at its annual meeting. A faith-based nonprofit organization, Habitat coordinates private support and volunteer efforts to provide safe, decent, affordable housing for families with 30%-50% of the median income range, with many of the homes in south Fayetteville where it is proposing a Planned Zoning District project with 40-50 homes.

The Porchscapes PZD will be an example of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — Neighborhood Development and a demonstration project for Low Impact Development for the Environmental Protection Agency. Aaron Gabriel, assistant director of the UA Community Design Center, is coordinating the environmental planning and design of the neighborhood, and the Fayetteville City Council has waived parkland dedication requirements and designated land adjacent to the nine-acre development as parkland.

Congratulations to Habitat's Executive Director Patsy Brewer, to Aaron Gabriel of the Community Design Center, and to the Fayetteville City Council.

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