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The Arkansas Community Institute’s mission is to empower low- to moderate-income citizens economically through:

1. Asset building activities such as home ownership counseling, financial literacy, and outreach and education on programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC);
2. Leadership development;
3. Research and advocacy on policies; and
4. Education and organizing around existing policies that address barriers to economic empowerment and advancement.

The organization was founded in Little Rock in 1985 to improve housing opportunities in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods in Little Rock. During the 1990s the organization partnered with HUD to provide information to the public about the Fair Housing Act and how to use the law to improve the quality of housing for minorities and other protected classes.

The organization won a consent decree with the City of Maumelle that allowed developers to build low-income housing and conducted the education and research that helped to win a state fair housing law and a state predatory lending law in the early 2000s. The organization has also done extensive outreach and education about home ownership and has assisted hundreds of families to become first time homebuyers. ACHC/ACI has compiled and released several reports concerning the Community Reinvestment Act and predatory lending in the home mortgage industry over the last fifteen years.

The organization has carried out several successful contracts with HUD, the City of Little Rock, City of Pine Bluff and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas. We work closely with Iberia Bank, Region’s bank and other lending institutions.

This year the organization has expanded its counseling program to help low- to moderate-income people improve their credit scores to qualify for all types of lending. We have launched a project to educate the community about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and to help people receive the EITC without paying tax preparation fees.