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Spanning the Region

Friday, January 1, 1999

Historic Little Rock Building Becomes Independent-Living Facility

Until very recently, the housing options for Arkansas' developmentally disabled adults were limited to institutions, assisted-living complexes or staying at home with often elderly parents. Now there is another option, thanks to the Arc of Arkansas, an organization for the developmentally disabled.

In September, the Arc moved its first tenants into the historic Trinity Courts Building on Main Street in Little Rock. Built in 1911, the structure formerly housed one of America's first HMOs and, most recently, a nursing home. When the building was donated to the Arc, the group decided to do something different—develop a one-of-a-kind, independent-living facility for the developmentally disabled. In November 1998, renovations began, and the building was transformed into a 22-unit, fully handicapped-accessible apartment complex for low- to moderate-income disabled residents and their families.

Special features—lower peepholes, lower wall cabinets, wider hallways and walkways, detachable under-sink cabinets, seats and bathtub grab bars and a high-tech, keyless entry system—help make the facility more user-friendly for the disabled. In addition, the complex features amenities that everyone can appreciate, including a fully-equipped community room, a lobby where local artwork is displayed and a beautiful courtyard.

Because the apartments are geared toward low- to moderate-income residents, a variety of funding sources were used:

(in thousands)
Limited Partner Equity
Apollo Housing Capital, LLC $1,202
Low-Income Housing Tax Credits 75
General Partner Equity
City Landmark Grant 76
FHLB Affordable Housing Program 110
Arc of Arkansas (ARC) 55
1st Mortgage, Regions Bank
($735 construction loan also)
2nd Mortgage, Arkansas Development
Finance Authority BMIR Loan
3rd Mortgage, ARC—City HOME Funds 220
TOTAL Funding $2,098

For more information, contact Steve Hitt at (501) 375-7770.

Money Management for Savvy Students

Representatives from 14 Louisville-area banks, Kentucky Housing Corp., Red Cross ACCEPT and the Louisville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have joined forces with high school students and the Jefferson County Public Schools to create a personal finance curriculum for high school seniors. Money Management for Savvy Students is designed to prepare seniors for the real world of earning, saving and borrowing. It helps students develop the skills they need to use money to their advantage and avoid financial pitfalls.

The program reached 700 students during the 1997-98 school year and 1,500 students during 1998-99. So far this year (1999-2000), the curriculum has been taught to 760 students in 32 classes with 91 bankers representing 11 area financial institutions as volunteer teachers.

For more information on the program, call Lisa Locke at (502) 568-9216.

Updated Community Profiles to be Released

The St. Louis Fed is revising and updating profiles of two District communities—Little Rock and Memphis—that will be available for distribution shortly. New community profiles of the Hannibal, Mo., and Quincy, Ill., areas are also being released.

The community profiles are designed to get financial institutions involved in programs that will meet the community development lending, service and investment needs of these areas. The profiles identify programs that may help fill those needs and encourage public/private partnerships that typically involve the efforts of city, state and federal agencies, local community organizations and financial institutions.

The revised profiles include updated demographics, needs assessments and government program descriptions. Also, the section identifying local community organizations has been revised to reflect the latest services and programs offered. Lenders may choose to partner with community organizations or access available government programs to increase their community development participation.

The Little Rock and Memphis profiles are the first in a series of community profiles to be revised. Throughout the next two years, lenders in other parts of the District should watch for new or updated profiles for their communities. Available profiles, many of which will be revised, are:

  • Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers and Texarkana, Ark.
  • Evansville, Ind.
  • Louisville and Owensboro, Ky.
  • Columbia, St. Louis and Springfield, Mo.
  • Jackson, Tenn.
  • Lower Mississippi Delta Region (rural counties in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee)—original profile and revised directory of programs available.

As the community profiles are completed, they will be distributed to financial institutions and others in the community. Profiles are also available on the Community Affairs home page of the St. Louis Fed's web site,