LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The city of Little Rock is addressing issues happening at the Big Country Chateau Apartments.
At the board meeting Tuesday night, the Metropolitan Housing Alliance talked with board members about the problems. M.H.A. Commissioner Leta Anthony took questions and gave recommendations on how to keep something like what is happening at the Big Country Chateau Apartments from happening again.
Anthony said they are working with residents to give out vouchers so they can find another place to live, but there are several issues with that. The first, there are not enough vouchers for everyone. Then she said some people are scared to leave because this is a problem that spans outside of just the Big Country Chateau Apartments.
“People are afraid to move because they are more aware than most of the people in this room of the fact that there is no place to move to,” Anthony said. “Big Country is just the one in the news but it certainly is not the only apartment complex that needs attention.”
Anthony said there is a shortage of affordable housing in Little Rock and it’s been a problem for the last decade. That’s why the M.H.A. is recommending the city adds a rent control board to keep landlords and apartment owners from price gauging their tenants.
“That would also take in the responsibility of making sure that the inspections and the landlords would be held to that higher standard of making sure that these apartments are livable,” Anthony said.
The M.H.A. is also recommending the city adds more code inspectors as well as pass tougher ordinances for landlords and apartment owners to hold them accountable.