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Episode 223: Innovative Approaches to Affordable Housing in Northwest Arkansas: A Chat with Experts

“The most successful cities of the future are going to be those that are the most adaptable to change.”

 – Emily Hamilton

In the second installment of the Future is Now Speaker Series, Randy Wilburn talks to Duke McLarty, Matthew Petty, and Emily Hamilton about affordable housing in the region. The guests highlight the importance of addressing the shortage of affordable housing in growing urban areas, including Northwest Arkansas. 

Hamilton suggests thinking beyond increasing the supply of homes to focus on building housing in high-opportunity areas. Petty introduces the concept of pattern zones, which pre-approve buildings for construction, as a new approach to tackle the issue of slow permitting. The speakers discuss the success of small lot single-family developments in Houston and multifamily housing in high-density areas like Palisades Park, New Jersey. Hamilton talks about the importance of legalizing small lot single-family development and multifamily housing in commercial spaces to build housing in areas with existing infrastructure in place. 

All of the guests emphasized the importance of building trust with communities by showing clear renderings and visual models to execute successful housing projects. This event took place at the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors in Lowell, AR. 

“We have a responsibility to create places where everybody can live, work, learn, and play.”

 – Matthew Petty

What you will learn in this episode:

  • Delve into the effects of zoning regulations on residential construction.
  • Understand the importance of fostering relationships between government and community entities.
  • Discover groundbreaking ways to address housing affordability, featuring ADUs and housing finance innovations.
  • Realize the essentiality of tailoring strategies to complement unique local needs and conditions.
  • Learn the benefits of educating involved parties and seeking guidance from external sources.

All this and more on this episode of the I am Northwest Arkansas podcast.

Important Links and Mentions on the Show*

  • Download a copy of Emily Hamilton’s policy brief on Housing Reform in the States.
  • Check out the Market Urbanism blog for more insights on urban economics and land use policy.
  • Look into the Pattern Zones program to learn more about how cities can guide development and lower barriers to small parcel development.
  • Attend the next iteration of the Future is Now speaker series on June 21 at Crystal Bridges, which will focus on community engagement.
  • Visit the Northwest Arkansas Council’s website to learn more about their initiatives related to workforce housing, development, recruitment, and retention.
  • Consider becoming a member of the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors to stay informed about the local housing market and support their efforts to provide member support, MLS management, and education opportunities.
  • Get involved in advocating for state-level policies that limit local regulations and streamline procedures to increase housing abundance and affordability.
  • Explore opportunities to repurpose underutilized commercial sites for residential development in your community.

Email Emily Hamilton

Email Matthew Petty

Email Duke McLarty

Emily Hamilton on LinkedIn

Matthew Petty on LinkedIn

Duke McLarty on LinkedIn

Connect with the Northwest Arkansas Council

Website for NWA Council

NWA Council on Instagram

NWA Council on Facebook

NWA Council on LinkedIn

NWA Council on Twitter

Tune in to KUAF 91.3 FM to listen to the I Am Northwest Arkansas podcast on Ozarks at Large.

This episode is sponsored by*

Signature Bank of Arkansas “Community Banking at its Best!”

Try Canva For Free Today!

Northwest Arkansas Council – “Life Works Here!”

*Note: some of the resources mentioned may be affiliate links. This means we get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

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