BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Benton County will use American Rescue Plan funds to increase affordable housing in the area.

The federal government is allowing the county to use leftover emergency rental assistance funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for housing assistance.

The $2.4 million will be given to organizations that help connect people in Benton County with affordable homes.

Benton County judge Barry Moehring says the funds could make a big difference in the lives of some residents and the money will stay local.

“It can certainly make a dent. Because we can get projects that can help dozens of families along the way. And, I guess, more importantly, another alternative is these funds go back to Washington and get used in another jurisdiction. So, we’re glad we’re able to use these here,” Moehring said.

Qualified organizations have until May 6 to apply for funds.