Amy Webb, Chief of Communications
Gavin Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Communications
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Help is now available for renters in Arkansas who have lost jobs or who are struggling financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the new Arkansas Rental Relief Program, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) announced today. Funding is available for eligible Arkansas renters, or landlords with tenants who are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the support of Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and State Legislature, DHS will be distributing $173 million of funding provided by the Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program through the U.S. Dept of Treasury.
“The need for rental assistance has been present since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hutchinson said. “I appreciate the work that’s being done by the Arkansas Department of Human Services in conjunction with our federal partners to help renters and landlords who need assistance during this time.”
Funds may help cover past due rent, future rent, and certain utilities such as water, electricity, and gas. Payment assistance can be used for up to 15 months of rent and utilities incurred between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.
Arkansas Rent Relief Program funding is available for those who meet the following criteria:
- Someone in the household qualifies for unemployment benefits.
- Household income decreased during the pandemic.
- Someone in the household suffered significant financial hardship due to the pandemic.
- Meet income eligibility based on the residing county (Area Median Income) and number of people in the household.
Those who are unsure if they qualify are encouraged to apply. DHS also has identified community partners across the state that can help people apply and that will help spread the word about this program.
“We are thankful for all of the community organizations from across the state that are helping us provide support to Arkansans who are struggling to pay their rent and utilities,” said DHS Division of County Operations Director Mary Franklin. “This program should provide much-needed relief to renters and landlords.”
Learn more about the Arkansas Rent Relief Program and begin the application process at ar.gov/rentrelief. For questions or assistance with the Arkansas Rent Relief program, call 855.RENTARK Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Sat. – Sun. 9 p.m. to 6 p.m. To find a list of community partners providing application assistance, click here.