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Programs

This program is designed to address the wide range of challenges homeless individuals may face at any given point.  We have developed comprehensive plans which address the needs of homeless people in the SOAR (South Arkansas) Continuum of Care Network.  We provide services such as:

  1. Housing Placement
  2. Counseling
  3. Help with Government Forms
  4. Job Skills Training
  5. Educational Opportunities
  6. Self Sufficiency Program and much more!

For more information please contact our office 870-543-1820.  We are located at 716 S. Georgia St. and we are open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Walk-ins are Welcome!


I. Model Block Commercial Program Statement of Purpose

The Model Block Program is a program administered by the City of Pine Bluff’s Economic & Community Development Department, in partnership with Pine Bluff Downtown Development, Inc. and the UAPB Economic Research & Development Center. The program is designed to support redevelopment of downtown, consistent with the Reinventing Downtown Pine Bluff plan as adopted by the Pine Bluff City Council on August 2, 2004 [Resolution 2708]. More specifically, the objectives of the Model Block Program are to:

(1)  Preserve downtown's historic building stock.

(2)  Enhance downtown's visual appeal.

(3)  Return properties to productive use.

(4)  Stimulate economic development with an emphasis on business-cluster development.

The Commercial Rehabilitation component of this program is designed to support these objectives, while defraying a fraction of the costs for rehabilitating downtown buildings.

II. Eligibility

The Commercial Rehabilitation component is available to property owners and business owners enrolled in the Model Block Program with properties located within the Pine Bluff Commercial Historic District (see map). Owner occupancy is not required.  Approval of tenant-initiated projects, however, will be contingent upon the property owner’s agreement to adhere to program requirements.

With the exception of limited-scope structural stabilization and preservation projects, eligible buildings must have an existing or tentative use on the first floor. For tentative uses, an occupant must have been identified and an existing inspection must have been completed by the Inspection & Zoning Department. The inspection report will outline code deficiencies with the building that must be addressed before a unit can be cleared for occupancy and issued a valid business license. (Buildings housing certain uses may be excluded from this program). In addition, the property must have no outstanding property taxes, fees, judgments, or liens (such as unpaid assessments).

For more information and questions, please feel free to contact Sarah Price, Economic Development Specialist, at 870-543-1820.

The Home Buyer's Assistance Program is designed to assist low-to-moderate income families and individuals wanting to purchase a home on the open market, a HUD repossessed home or one that is “for sale by owner” (FSBO). The Home Buyer Assistance Program is a citywide activity that will be carried out particularly in areas where total household incomes fall below 80% of the median income for Pine Bluff, according to census tract data. Persons wishing to participate in the Home Buyer Assistance Program must qualify according to the regulations for the Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME Program and the City of Pine Bluff requirements. Persons wishing to participate in this program may receive assistance in the form of $2,000.00 for down payment and up to $3,000.00 of eligible closing costs, not including prepaid items for a home on the open market. The homeowner is responsible for all closing cost over $3,000.00. A minimum of $500 toward the down payment from the buyer is mandatory. The $500 is not considered part of the closing cost.

  1. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR HOME BUYER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:

Eligible persons for this program must be low or low-to-moderate income with a gross annual income that does not exceed 80% HUD, of the median income for Pine Bluff. See the chart below to see if you qualify.

Martial Status:

If you are separated or have a divorce pending, certain Arkansas Laws may affect your home purchase decision. Please notify or visit with our Loan Processor if this applies to your situation.

Download the Home-buyer Assistance Program

  • Emergency Rehab

The Emergency Rehabilitation Grant amount from Economic and Community Development Department is a maximum of $10,000.

The property must be the owner’s principal residence and owner occupied living in Pine Bluff City limits.

The Total Amount Income must include all persons in the household and all monies received on a monthly basis. Other types of income include: SSI, AFDC, Child Support, Unemployment, Life Insurance Benefit, Retirement Benefits, etc.

If applicant has received assistance from this Office within the last ten (10) years, the applicant will not qualify to receive assistance again.

Eligible activities include all work necessary to bring home into compliance of standard housing code of the City of Pine Bluff.

The size of Household and Income Limit Amount to qualify.(See Chart Below).

Emergency Rehab Fact Sheet

  • New Construction

The Economic and Community Development is a department of the City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas that handles all economic and community development issues. Now headed by Larry Matthews, the department was found in 1945 to help revitalize craft the economic future of the City of Pine Bluff.

  • Reconstruction

The Reconstruction Program for low and low-to-moderate income persons is designed to replace an existing home based on the homeowner’s qualifications. To participate in the program, the individual(s) must have an existing owner occupied house and agree to rebuild on the same location if applicable. This existing house becomes a reconstruction case when the dwelling is too far-gone to bring up to standard single dwelling housing codes. We will need to verify land and dwelling ownership and based on availability, the owner will select the house plan. We will bid out the house plan to a list of contractors and the lowest responsible bidder will receive the job. Once approved, we will provide a construction contract, verification of inspections and monitor the progress of the construction phase.

The City will provide a $14,999 Deferred Loan and Second Mortgage toward the construction cost and the owner to finance the balance. The program is set up to provide three (3) draws. We generally provide the first draw so the borrower’s interest will not apply until their first draw from the bank. Our contract is set for a maximum of 90 days. Survey, house location, and elevation are required in this process. The contractor shall provide the construction insurance and a letter is given prior to the start of construction. The contractor must be licensed by the City and have proof on record that all required insurance and paperwork is in order before we award the bid.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Teresa Tyler-Frazier, Economic Development Specialist, at 870-543-1820.