Mor­gan Manor hous­ing pro­posal tabled again

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - STACY RYBURN Stacy Ryburn can be reached by email at sry­burn@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @stacy ryburn.

FAYET­TEVILLE — The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion on Mon­day tabled again a pro­posal to ex­pand Mor­gan Manor so the U.S. De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment can an­swer a ques­tion from City At­tor­ney Kit Wil­liams about the project.

The com­mis­sion voted 8-0 to ta­ble the item un­til its July 24 meet­ing. Wil­liams met with Fayet­teville Hous­ing Author­ity of­fi­cials in late June to dis­cuss de­tails on the project but wants more in­for­ma­tion be­fore giv­ing a le­gal opin­ion af­fect­ing the com­mis­sion’s de­ci­sion.

Wil­liams’ in­quiry per­tains to fed­eral gov­ern­ment re­quire­ments on public hous­ing land trans­ac­tions and whether the Hous­ing Author­ity fol­lowed those re­quire­ments. The pro­posal also now in­cludes more than $126,000 in im­pact fees pre­vi­ously left out. A June memo from Wil­liams pointed out the omis­sion.

“We’ll see what the HUD rules are, what the fed­eral reg­u­la­tions are,” Wil­liams said. “I felt like I should get it straight from the horses’s mouth, so be­cause of that I think we do need to ta­ble this to give HUD an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond.”

The Hous­ing Author­ity in March agreed to sell the public hous­ing prop­erty at Wil­low Heights, 10 S. Wil­low Ave., for $1.25 mil­lion. Vlad Tat­ter, reg­is­tered agent for Wil­low Heights LLC, has said he wants to build houses there. The Wil­low Heights com­plex would be de­mol­ished and the 100 or so res­i­dents there would move about a mile south to a pro­posed ex­pan­sion at Mor­gan Manor.

The Plan­ning Com­mis­sion twice in June tabled the plan for the Mor­gan Manor ex­pan­sion. The ex­pan­sion would bring 58 more units to the 9-acre prop­erty, which has 52 units.

The Hous­ing Author­ity op­er­ates Mor­gan Manor

un­der a form of Sec­tion 8 called the Rental As­sis­tance Demon­stra­tion pro­gram, which com­bines public and pri­vate eq­uity to pro­vide rental as­sis­tance to low-in­come res­i­dents. The Hous­ing Author­ity has ap­plied for a tax credit from the Arkansas De­part­ment of Fi­nance and Ad­min­is­tra­tion to help pay for the project.

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