Earle moving forward with plans to host ‘Little Custom Home’
Turrell mayor working with city finalize placing model home on vacant lot
An Osceola manufactured homes company will move forward with plans to build a model home in Earle.
Turrell Mayor Dorothy Cooper, who is acting as a liaison for Little Custom Home and Earle, said the company is very anxious to build the home and use it as a showcase for other communities in the Delta who are looking to add affordable housing. “Little Custom Homes is very excited about coming to Earle,” Cooper said.
“(Owner Billy Joe Denton) plans to meet with Mayor (Sherman) Smith soon so they can finalize everything.
Earle City Council approved a one year renewable agreement that would let the company build a model home on a vacant city owned lot on Bailey Street. Little Custom Homes would lease the lot from the city and would be required to pay the city the appraised value for the lot in the event the home is sold, as well as any taxes owed to the county. If the company decides not renew the agreement, they would be required to return the lot to the original condition.
Little Custom Homes manufactures pre-built, affordable homes at a factory in Osceola. The company has built homes in nearby Keiser and Bassett which have lured new residents to those depressed delta communities.
The homes range from 720 square feet to 1,300 square feet, and sell for $60,000 for a one bedroom up to $100,000 for a four bedroom model.
The homes take 40 to 50 days to build and are then transported to the building site, which in most cases, was a former overgrown or abandoned lot.
Earle has numerous vacant lots in the city and was hard hit by a 2008 tornado which has led to a massive population loss. Smith has made bringing more affordable housing to Earle a top priority.
Cooper said Little Custom Homes is excited about the possibilities in Earle.
“They are ready to bring a home and get it set up,” Cooper said. “We can’t wait for people to come by and see the beauty of these homes and then hopefully build the community back up.”
Cooper added that she is also hoping to work out an agreement with the company that will bring Little Custom Homes to Turrell.
“We’re working on something,” Cooper said. “I would like to reach people who have dreams of owning a home but can’t afford it. Maybe we can take these Little Custom Homes and put some where people can rent them, and then after a time when they get their credit straightened out, they can come back and work on purchasing a home.”
By Mark Randall