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New renter’s assistance policy to benefit those facing evictions

Good news for those with eviction notices. You’ll now have priority when applying for Arkansas...
Good news for those with eviction notices. You’ll now have priority when applying for Arkansas Rent Relief. Other policy changes go into effect on Sept. 10.
Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:54 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - There is good news for those with eviction notices.

You’ll now have priority when applying for Arkansas Rent Relief.

Other policy changes go into effect on Sept. 10.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says 2,800 people across the state are in danger of being evicted, while over 1,300 will be paid by the end of next week.

“So, this change in policy should greatly assist getting the funds out,” said Hutchinson at Wednesday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.

Those changes include simplifying the paperwork process.

“Funds can be paid to eligible tenants even if the landlord does not send the required information,” said Hutchinson.

Landlords are given a 10-day notice. If they don’t respond, assistance is given directly to the tenant. This will impact about 6,000 applicants waiting on landlord documentation.

“Seventy additional staff to process these applications and oversee the program,” said Hutchinson.

Staff now totals 160 to process over 15,000 applications. Hutchinson says it would take less than $40 million to fund all the requests.

“Our economy is moving. People have opportunities to work. We want to get them back. We want to provide this renters assistance, but that’s a lot of money that’s in the pot right now,” said Hutchinson.

Right now, over 3,000 homes have been helped with $9.8 million paid, and 97 households have been denied.

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