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Arkansas Renters United is a community organization working to improve the lives of renters and they will do whatever it takes to help you. 

If you are an Arkansas Renter who is:

  • dissatisfied with your living conditions

  • who wants to improve housing through fair laws

  • who believes everyone should have the right to decent housing


Call Arkansas Renters United for assistance and get involved 501-376-7151.

Sign up for rental assistance.

What documents you should expect to bring for your rental assistance application:

 

  • Social security numbers of all household members, regardless of age

  • A form of income verification such as a W-2, pay stub, social security award letter, or other tax forms from 2020. Provide all the information that you can. If you have no way to verify your income, or if you have no income, you can fill out an ‘Income Self-Attestation’ form through your application. 

  • A copy of your lease (you can ask your property manager or landlord to provide this information). If you have no way to verify the address you are currently renting at, you can fill out a separate self-attestation form to verify your address

 

You will need to meet one of the following Covid-19 hardship criteria to be considered for assistance programs

 

  • Someone in your household was receiving unemployment benefits going back to April 2020

  • Your household’s income was reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Your household has experienced increased costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic (food, childcare, travel expenses, medical expenses, or PPE purchases)

  • Your household pays 30% or more of its monthly income toward rent and utilities

 

If applicable, you may need to provide proof that you are at risk of homelessness

 

  • Your household is behind on rent or utilities

  • Currently without a home

  • Living in unsafe or unhealthy conditions

  • Paying more than 30% of household income toward rent

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The rental assistance program in Arkansas is administered by DHS except in the 3 most populous counties- Benton, Pulaski, and Washington County.

Apply for rental assistance using the DHS website here

Call 855-736-8275

What did Gov. Hutchinson change in the implementation of the rental assistance program on Sept. 8?

- Tenants facing evictions prioritized for relief
 2,800 Arkansas tenants that have applied for relief are facing eviction.  

- Funds can be paid directly tenants even if the landlord doesn’t submit their documentation.
If the landlord is not responsive for 10 days, assistance can be provided directly to the tenant. This has been a major hurdle to tenants having applied for relief.
Of 8,903 tenants awaiting information, 6,000 tenants are waiting on landlord documentation.

- The contractor administering program increased staffing by 70 caseworkers.Total personnel is 160 now, which includes outreach and education.
Programs falling behind have often cited staffing problems to explain the delay in rollout of the rental assistance program.

THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS GIVING PEOPLE MONEY FOR RENT RELIEF.  

The state of Arkansas has
$173 million for rent relief. 

If all 15,000 of the current applications are processed and approved, the state will have spent around $40 million dollars.

 "Under any test that Washington wants to give, we're not gonna spend $173 million dollars," said Gov. Asa Hutchinson at his press conference on Sept. 8.

 Gov. Hutchinson is accepting that there will be money that does not get used by Arkansas renters. We aren't.

That will leave the state of Arkansas with $143 million for rent relief. 

Apply for rent relief and spread the word.

Additional resources:

RENTAL ASSISTANCE IN ARKANSAS SO FAR:

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Our rental assistance program is failing Arkansans.

Read the letter from Chair of the House Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus Rep. James Clyburn (D- South Carolina) that prompted Gov. Hutchinson to make the above changes in the implementation of the rental assistance programs. 

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By June 30, the Arkansas state rental relief program had only distributed $600,000 of the $173 million in federal funds the state has received.The program appears to have made little progress since that time. As of July 31, Arkansas had still distributed only $3.2 million to aid renters in need.

 

Department of the Treasury, Treasury Data: Amount of June Emergency Rental Assistance Resources to Households More than All Previous Months Combined (July 21, 2021) (online at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy0284).

Data compiled by the National Low Income Housing Coalition reveals Arkansas is 47th in the nation for assistance distribution.

National Low Income Housing Coalition, NLIHC ERA Spending Tracking: ERA1 Spending by State (accessed Aug. 25, 2021) (online at

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RnHX7Ld7KJ_jgj8Sk52xjCygYRETwU- OthOGE3uduHM/htmlview?utm_source=NLIHC+All+Subscribers&utm_campaign=c5f8ef30ad- Update_08252021&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e090383b5e-c5f8ef30ad- 293416298&ct=t(Update_08252021)&pru=AAABe6KaitI*stzfqmnczzWj3gRt7wVUPw#).

As of early July, over 20% of renter households owed back rent in 29 Arkansas counties.

FROM THE LETTER:

How Many People Are at Risk of Losing Their Homes in Your Neighborhood?, New York Times (July 28, 2021)

(online at /www.nytimes.com/2021/07/28/opinion/covid-eviction-moratorium.html?).

The U.S. Census Bureau’s Covid-19 Housing Pulse survey revealed that half of all renter households lost income during the pandemic.

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, The State of the Nation’s Housing 2021 (June 2021) (online at

www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/reports/files/Harvard_JCHS_State_Nations_Housing_2021.pdf); The Aspen Institute, The COVID-19 Eviction Crisis: An Estimated 30–40 Million People in America Are at Risk (Aug. 7, 2020) (online at www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/the-covid-19-eviction-crisis-an-estimated-30-40-million- people-in-america-are-at-risk/).