The Little Rock Housing Authority (LRHA)
has recently started construction on the first green housing community for seniors in the state of Arkansas. Available for low-income seniors age 62 and older, the Legacy Homes development hopes to encourage sustainability and energy conservation.
With financial help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Arkansas Development Finance Authority, LRHA will build in Little Rock on about 2.6 acres near Granite Mountain Circle and adjacent to Audubon Arkansas. Part of this area was previously developed to provide other types of housing.
According to LRHA, Legacy Homes will contain at least 20 apartments. The authority has decided to implement several strategies and technologies to allow the apartments to be considered a green development. These are intended to directly benefit the residents, surrounding community, and surrounding natural environment.
During construction as well as throughout the life of the community, Legacy Homes intends to implement:
- Water conservation measures, like low-flow nozzles and other fixtures
- Exterior LED lighting
- Energy Star appliances
- Renewable energy, primarily through the use of solar panels
According to the Census Bureau, 10.2 percent of Arkansas's population was 65 or older in 2008. With such a substantial portion of the state's population, it seems the need for low-income senior housing, especially those with a low environmental impact, cannot be overstated.
While it is unfortunate that Legacy Homes is the state's first housing facility of its kind, it is a move in the right direction. It supports the overall environmental cause as well as the use of energy efficiency and conservation to provide low-cost housing.