Growing housing leads to county concerns

Published: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:00 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 8, 2023 at 6:27 PM CST
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CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Craighead County is seeing a boom in housing construction.

County Judge Marvin Day says more people are opting to build out in the county rather than in the cities and towns because of the price.

“Cost of land would be one also with interest rates being up, the ability to use some rural development financing that has some relatively low-interest rates,” he said.

Day said there has been a need for housing in the past five years as more people look for cheaper rates, leading to serious growth.

“We think the county is growing well,” Day explained. “Our economy is growing well even with these interest rates.”

With the growth, Day and other county officials worry about what this means for first responders. He said people don’t understand when they build out in the county it will take emergency crews longer to reach them.

“I don’t think a lot of people have thought through that when making those decisions,” he said. “They do not know the response times and are not the same as they are accustomed to in the city.”

He worries about the strain on rural volunteer fire departments.

He stressed they are working on making sure that all the new housing going up is safe and will last a long time.

“We are just trying to monitor and make sure it is of good quality, and a good product that will be nice for a long time,” Day said.