Arkansans who are having trouble paying rent or utility bills due to COVID-19 can apply now for federal money to help cover costs incurred since April 2020, including Entergy Arkansas customers and others across the state.
“Because of COVID-19, many of our customers are facing unexpected financial hardship – some due to illness, loss of jobs and other factors,” said Entergy Arkansas Vice President of Customer Service Michael Considine. “These assistance programs along with payment plans can help Entergy Arkansas customers who rent their home keep their power on while they continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
The Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program has allocated $173 million to be administered through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), and state officials estimate some 56,000 households will qualify for the program. DHS established the Arkansas Rent Relief Program to distribute the available funds.
Eligible households may receive up to 15 months of assistance for rent and/or utility costs incurred between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Covered utilities include electric, gas and water. Up to three months of future rent may be applied for at one time; utilities may be applied for monthly once the bill is received. Officials said an eligible household is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals:
qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
has a household income at or below