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New affordable housing comes to Pine Bluff after 30 years | News

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New affordable housing comes to Pine Bluff after 30 years

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - The sound of machines running and dirt tilling marks the ground breaking of Southern Crossing. It is a brand new affordable housing development at the intersection of 38th Avenue and Ohio Street in Pine Bluff.

Directly across the street, you can find Dewitt Hill, who has lived in his home for 15 years. He was initially worried about the development.

"I was just concerned about 65 houses across the street in front of me whether it would decrease the value of my property or not," he explained.

The housing authority has been trying to build affordable housing since 2008.

"We have 273 units of public housing and 804 section 8 vouchers. So with those section 8 vouchers, they have to go out into the community and find housing, suitable housing," said director of the Pine Bluff Housing Authority, Jeannie Epperson.

Epperson said it became extremely difficult because a lot of times people would lose their vouchers because they could not find affordable housing that meet the housing quality standard.

"So we knew from that there was a need," Epperson continued. "It will be high income, low income and middle income. So it's a great thing, not just low income."

Southern Crossing is a unique property. It will be the first time an affordable housing complex will be made up of families with mixed finances, which is one of the main reasons Hill is okay with having dozens of new neighbors.

"I think everybody deserves a good house, a decent house that they can afford," he added.

By December 2013, 65 units will be completed, and families will be ready to move in. The Housing Authority hopes to start accepting applications in the next 30 days.