FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Members of Fayetteville’s Housing Authority are spending the week helping people sign up for Washington County’s Emergency Rental Assistance. The extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium was a relief to many, but some Northwest Arkansans still owe months of back rent and need help.
Wednesday, housing authority members set up a tent at the 12th Street Apartments and helped people living there sign up for this rental assistance. Melissa Terry, the Board Chair for the FHA, said people have had trouble following the instructions in the online application portal, and county leaders trained the FHA how to navigate the website.
“I just got a notification from the county that we have 23 residents now [applied,]” Terry said. “Today, we’ve done 10 more.”
Terry said this week’s been big for getting people help on back rent picked up during the pandemic.
“We have our tent set up, tables, our iPads,” Terry said. “[We’re] just collecting information and getting people processed.”
Tuesday, the CDC issued a new 60-day federal eviction moratorium for places with high levels of COVID-19 spread. Washington Co. is on that list. Terry said the CDC’s decision could save people from losing their livelihoods.
“It was like watching a shot clock,” Terry said of the potential expiration of the eviction moratorium. “Like, how many can we get [applied]? Then the board made the decision to go full-court press.”
Shacrises Zigler lives in Fayetteville and owes two months of back rent. She said the extension of the eviction moratorium is partly a relief.
“I’m happy that it has gotten extended, so that’s one thing off my shoulders,” Zigler said. “If this rental assistance program would just step up their game just a penny, [I could get a fresh start.]”
Zigler applied for the county’s emergency rental assistance, and she said she’s waiting to hear if she’ll get it.
“The only thing I’ve gotten right now is I have received an email that says I’m missing some information,” Zigler said. “What information am I missing? I don’t know.”
Terry said the FHA will continue helping people apply. Members plan to go to the FHA Development property on Deane Street on Thursday to help more people apply
“Our goal is to have 40 [applications] in by Friday,” Terry said. “Right now, we’re at 23 with about 15 who are almost done, so I think we’re going to get there.”