The City of Little Rock is flipping dilapidated homes. Every city has them. Neighborhoods with boarded-up homes that are left to collect dust and encourage crime.
The city believes this is the solution.
Just a year ago, 2218 Martin Street was a wreck. That was before the Love Neighborhood Revitalization program kicked off.
The City gutted the 77 year-old home, gave it an extensive facelift and is putting it back on the market.
"A range, microwave, refrigerator. We are going to get stainless steel appliances, make it look really really nice. New cabinets, ceilings, light fixtures, new windows,” the City's Community Development Manager, Kevin Howard, said.
But they aren't looking to make a profit. The two-bed one-bath home is listed at $65,000.
It is all in an effort to fight blight, beginning with the Love neighborhood in the South End and is also a project 25 years in-the-making for City Director Joan Adcock.
"A dream. It's like a dream when you walk in this house and know that you may have made just a little part in doing something this beautiful,” Adcock said, as she walked me through the home.
The home was purchased through the Little Rock Land Bank Commission, which buys abandoned houses and flips them for moderate to low-income families at a very low cost.
We asked Councilwoman Adcock whom she envisions living in the house.
"I feel like I've got a woman coming to this home. She probably works at the med center or at the VA hospital. She's moving into this neighborhood and she knows she can afford this home and she can also then have a place for her children to be proud of," Adcock said.
The City of Little Rock says it is hopeful that their investment in the home will spark a revitalization that will spread across the entire neighborhood.
"Before, it was kind of stagnant. Now, they see that they have a house that has been rehabbed and revitalized in this area. They know we are going to continue to do more work in this area, so they are really happy and excited about what's going on,” Howard said, adding that the neighborhood clean-up should also mean less crime and more economic development in the area.
"In Little Rock we talk about the racial thing and everything, but this is the answer to it. This is the answer of making our neighborhoods. This is the answer to the problems with our children. It has taken us a while. but I think Little Rock finally understands that this is the answer to so many of our problems,” City Director Adcock says finally.
Howard told us they’d like to sell the house as soon as possible, so they can use the money to begin work on the next home.
The home will be sold to the first person or family who qualifies. They can even help cover the down payment.
Interested parties can schedule an appointment by calling 501-371-4848.