$6 million in Washington County rental assistance still up for grabs

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Washington County says it has more than $6 million left to distribute in rental assistance.

However, one Fayetteville local claims he’s been having trouble accessing any sort of help and he’s worried he’s about to lose his home because of it. 

Stuart Schiell believes he’s someone who’s been directly affected by the pandemic and because of health concerns has found himself between a rock and a hard place. 

“Being a senior citizen with COPD, I’ve been walking around thinking I’m going to die every two weeks,” says Schiell. 

Stuart Schiell reached out to us this Tuesday and said he had exhausted all of his options, applied to every program available to those in need, and has heard back from none of them. 

“I’ve done everything I can filling out online applications, talking to different agencies, and rarely have I got anyone to reach out to me,” says Schiell.  

Justice of Peace for District 7 with the Washington County Quorum Court, Sam Duncan, says Washington County’s rental assistant program is fully operational.

It also has nearly $6 million left to distribute and he doesn’t believe those in Washington County should be having a tough time accessing it. 

“If they’ve been impacted by COVID-19, gone online and filled out the application, and provided the two pieces of information I don’t know what the problem would be,” says Duncan. 

Duncan says as of August 23, Washington County has received 585 applications for rental assistance, 83 have been approved, 44 have been denied, and 252 are missing critical information. 

“The county has partnered with a third party who actually has caseworkers and they are tracking you all along the way,” says Duncan. “They’re reaching out and saying hey here the piece of information your missing here.” 

However, Schiell says he has yet to receive a notification, and the stress it is causing him is indescribable. 

“I’m in a very difficult position, a position that has put a level of stress on me that feels like it could kill me,” says Schiell. 

The only way to apply for Washington County rental assistance is online

The two most important things you’ll need are proof of income or lack thereof, and a lease or rental agreement. 

Duncan says not having one or the other is the largest hold-up for the majority of applications. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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