Washington County officials say people can still apply for emergency rental assistance money


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The federal eviction moratorium is over, and people are at risk of losing their homes after the pandemic caused some to miss paying rent. Leaders said the Washington County emergency rental assistance program that started in June still has plenty of funds to disperse.

Shacrises Zigler lives in Fayetteville, and she’s a single mother who said she needs rental assistance after falling behind on two months of rent.

“I work at Northwest Hospital, so nine times out of 10, my children have to go to daycare,” Zigler said. “It’s not a work-from-home job. If they can’t go to daycare, I can’t go to work.”

The federal eviction moratorium ended, and Zigler said she and many others need help to stay in their homes and on track.

“I literally work, and my checks are not enough to keep up with all my bills,” Zigler said. “If I can get at least this caught up, then August I will be on a fresh start.”

Zigler said she’s tried applying for rent through Arkansas’ various programs starting in November. She said she’s not been able to get the assistance she needs.

“It’s like a train that never ends,” Zigler said. “It just keeps going and going and going.”

Washington Co. Justice of the Peace Patrick Deakins (R) said the county’s emergency rental assistance program still has plenty of money.

“We just really need people to be aware, apply and try to get the assistance out there,” Deakins said.

People can receive whatever rental help they need, Deakins said.

“There’s not a cap on assistance that can be available for one person,” Deakins said. “It can also cover utilities.”

County Attorney Brian Lester said people can call (877) 492-3727 to talk to someone concerning the program. If someone has trouble getting answers, he or she can call the county judge’s office at (479) 444-1700. A total of 271 have applied, and 23 people have completed their application since the portal opened June 4, Lester said.

Deakins said if people are having problems applying to keep trying.

“If they’re receiving some sort of technical difficulties and are getting frustrated, please reach out to the country,” Deakins said. “There are numbers available for that.”

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