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Assistance still available for Arkansans struggling to pay rent

A rent sign outside a property in Little Rock (Photo: KATV){ }
A rent sign outside a property in Little Rock (Photo: KATV)
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If you’re a renter affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has caused some to lose their jobs and fall behind on rent, federal funds allocated for renter's assistance are still available in Arkansas.

The Central Arkansas Development Council’s Chief Executive Director, Randy Morris, told Seven on Your Side they’re trying to get the word out regarding their second program.

“We’re seeing a lot of people just not knowing what their next step is, not knowing what they’re going to do, how they’re going to pay this or how they’re going to have food or how are they going to pay their energy bills,” said Morris.

Morris said the Arkansas Fresh Start Program received an additional $900,000 in federal funding which has allowed them to continue the program. He said they also received additional funds for Little Rock residents only.

“In the first time we did this program, we helped about 1,600 individuals with rental assistance," he said. "Since we have started the second program, I believe with AR Fresh Start and the City of Little Rock, we have only helped about 300 plus individuals so far."

To qualify you must prove that you were impacted by COVID-19, you have not worked or you have received unemployment in the last two months and live at or below the federal poverty line.

“It’s based off of the fair market value and they also have to remember that their landlords have to sign off on the agreement and sign off on the W9," Morris said. "If they’re approved, we can pay up to two-and-a-half months of past due rent."

The assistance is directly paid to the landlord, not the renter, Morris said.

You can apply for rent assistance through the CADC’s website by clicking here. Applications are only available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

As a reminder, the CDC’s moratorium on evictions was extended through the end of June, halting some eviction cases due to the pandemic.

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