BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — On March 6, the city of Bentonville held a public input meeting to develop a plan to tackle the city’s housing crisis.

In the meeting, the city introduced its Community Development Block Grant program. The program allows the city to receive federal funding through a Department of Housing of Urban Development program to help low to moderate-income families with paying for housing, child care, and homeless shelters.

Lisa Reiff is part of a Bentonville organization that provides funds for local residents and is one of many that came out to give her input on the housing crisis.

“We’re having to pay more and more and more rent for these folks because they’re not able to make ends meet and live here, so I came today to this meeting in support of our neighbors in need,” Reiff said.

Reiff says it’s getting harder for people to afford their rent as Bentonville continues to expand and grow.

“There’s a huge need for rent. Our neighbors in need basically are from $20,000 to $40,000. That’s what they make every year,” Reiff said.

Reiff’s organization is not the only one that has seen the housing crisis get worse throughout the years.

“As we are growing within the city of Bentonville, we also consider families and making sure that they can afford to live within the city limits, that they can afford their daily expenses and that they can focus on their children,” Michelle Barnes said.

Michelle Barnes is the executive director at the Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center in Bentonville and hopes the new HUD program changes the lives of Bentonville families forever.

“We’re here to advocate for her family, undeserved families within our community around the issues of education, affordable housing, and, of course, early childhood education as well,” Michelle said.

The City of Bentonville Housing Committee has not made any final decisions yet regarding the distribution of the HUD program.