Affiliated with the University District Partnership, the UDDC is a private nonprofit development organization formed to develop affordable housing, encourage business development, and make neighborhood improvements within the District.
Four major goals drive the UDDC’s current plan to improve the quality of life within the University District:
- Increase property values and improved affordable housing conditions
- Improve Neighborhood infrastructure especially sidewalks, trails, and safe streets
- Increase levels of personal safety and outdoor activity creating an active, healthy neighborhood
- Increase the number of middle-income residents living in the area
The best features of the organization:
- The UDDC brings a new identity and marketing momentum to the area
- The UDDC has obtained small grants to homeowners to make visible improvements and upgrades making visible changes to houses
- The corporation with a diverse board, rooted in the District, provides continuity, giving the District a “body” for structured activity and credibility with City, businesses and various agencies
- This has contributed to a shift in paradigms and perceptions of the area; some of this is built upon the rising goodwill of the University
- In tandem with the neighborhood associations, the UDDC is part of an ongoing leadership development process
- Other new investments, especially the federal Promise Neighborhood grant, bring new opportunities and partnerships for the UDDC.
What is our intended vision for the community?
The University District is a thriving culture and entertainment destination, regarded throughout the city as a neighborhood of choice—a walk able in-town district with excellent schools and services, vibrant commercial areas, rich cultural resources, and connections to open space and transit. A mix of sing-family and higher density housing attracts a diverse community, including many UALR faculty and staff who choose to live as well as work in the district. The university’s presence in the district is leveraged into resources for improving the area: technical assistance for small businesses, faculty research linked to emerging companies, improved K-12 schools, supporting families in the District, and green space for the community created by the restoration and enhancement of Coleman Creek.
What will success look like?
- 5 miles of new sidewalks, additional trails and paths
- Gateway and District signs
- Reduced incidences of crime, code violations
- One award for outdoor activity-livability
- +60 homes improved; 30 homes refurbished, occupied +40 units in new Village development
- District 20-year housing vitality Master Plan
- Increased park pavilion uses, garden plots
- Collaborative agreements with major stakeholders (including UALR)
- Committed funding stream to sustain UDDC until 2020
We are a partnership because addressing socio-economic and environmental conditions in an urban area in decline require close working relationships between the people who live in the area and all of the businesses, nonprofit agencies, and public institutions that serve it.
Our Partners include the neighborhood associations, banks, businesses, churches, city, county, school district. Improving the quality of life requires the close cooperation of all who have an interest, a stake in the area.
The UDDC operates a first-time homebuyer program funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s HOME Program and a minor home improvement program entitled the Special Needs Assistance Program (SNAP) funded by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.