Fire in Walnut Ridge destroys public housing agency building

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WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. — Walnut Ridge is still recovering after a fire wiped out a building in the downtown area just a few weeks ago.

The Walnut Ridge Public Housing Agency is still picking up the pieces after the fire a few weeks ago. They are now temporarily located at the Larkspur Gardens Community Center in Walnut Ridge.

After the fire destroyed the building downtown, the search began for the Housing Agency. Director Debi Hart quickly made some phone calls.

“I contacted some of our reps and rural development, and they said it would be fine for us to use the community room temporarily. We’re thrilled that we’re able to use this facility,” said Debi Hart, Director, Walnut Ridge Public Housing Agency.

The agency not only had to find a new building, but they had to replace computers, software, and printers just to get back going again. Now, they’re trying to catch up on reports while meeting the needs of their clients, which is even more challenging due to COVID-19.

“We have just bought new supplies and everything at our old building and so we’ve gotta do all that again to make our clients safe and our employees safe also. We still have got a long, long road ahead of us and we know that. We’re just going to do what we can do and do the best we can do for our clients,” said Debi Hart, Director, Walnut Ridge Housing Agency.

Hart tells me that a permanent location for the Housing Agency has been picked out, and it’s this building on Main Street, formerly the Cavanaugh Office Building.

The plan for the agency is to move in to the new building by the first of September.

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