Housing demands increase as more jobs come to Pocahontas

Housing demands increase as more jobs come to Pocahontas
(Source: KAIT)

RANDOLPH COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Even though Pocahontas is seeing a boom in jobs, they are in dire of need of housing for the hundreds of employees they now have.

According to Archer Realty Sales Associate Joe Difani, over 1,500 new employees have entered the city with a population of over 6,000.

He said most of the employee boom came from the opening of the new PECO plant, Taco Bell, and Harps grocery store.

"This is a huge blessing for us, but it has been really tough to get their housing taken care of," said Difani.

Pocahontas is not the only area struggling.

"We are working with Walnut Ridge and like us they too have every rental house booked up so the need is there," said Difani. "It stressful but it is a good problem for the city to have."

New apartments are being built along Highway 62, but Difani said, unfortunately, that is not enough.

"We just need more investors to come in and build either a mobile home park or another set of apartments," said Difani. "We need housing, storage units, but more than anything, investors."

Difani said they have land space that could be bought near the PECO plant that has water, sewage, and electricity.

"If you could build 20 today, I could fill them tomorrow," said Difani."If you could build 100 units today, I can fill them tomorrow."

Also in Pocahontas, the Randolph County Quorum Court discussed an appropriation ordinance for the PECO plant Thursday night.

According to Judge David Jansen, they have already appropriated over $2 million dollars from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to PECO.

Members passed the appropriation of $89,000 to go to the expenses that went into funding PECO.

The court also adopted a 2017 budget of over $7 million.

That's less than the $9 million budget they had in 2016.

Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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