Renters and advocates push for faster distribution of rental assistance

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Housing advocates met outside the Washington County Courthouse Thursday to call county and state leaders to take action on giving out rental assistance funds to Arkansans.

Young Democrats of Arkansas along with renters and local advocates asked for leaders to speed up the rental assistance process and encouraged those in need of help to apply.

Chole Verkler, a tenant in Washington County, said waiting for rental assistance has been really tough.

“It’s extremely stressful,” Verkler said. “I work two jobs and it just seems like I can’t ever quite get ahead.”

Verkler has applied for rental assistance through Washington County and has been waiting for a response since July.

September Plattsmier, a Fayetteville tenant, has also had no luck receiving rental assistance funds from the county.

“I would just like to see the funds dispersed so that people such as myself and other community members can prevent homelessness,” Plattsmier said.

Billy Cook, vice president of the Young Democrats, said county leaders need to follow Governor Asa Hutchinson’s recommendations to speed up the distribution process.

“It is our hope that county authorities and those across the state will swiftly implement Governor Hutchinson’s new guidelines yesterday by providing relief directly to tenants, by prioritizing applicants most at risk for eviction, and hiring case workers that manage applications,” Cook said.

County Judge Joseph Wood’s office said they do not engage in public discourse with partisan political organizations. Wood’s office said they are diligently working to distribute the Emergency Rental Assistance funds.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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