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Young Democrats of Arkansas address rental assistance flaws

Arkansas has received $173 million in emergency rental assistance funds from the federal government but has only distributed $8.4 million of it.

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas — The Young Democrats of Arkansas gathered at the Washington County Courthouse Thursday (Sept. 9) to address what they call the state's cumbersome approach to distributing rental assistance.

Arkansas has received $173 million in emergency rental assistance funds from the federal government but has only distributed $8.4 million of it.

Governor Asa Hutchinson addressed the lag in distribution Thursday saying it was mostly due to landlords not signing off on the necessary paperwork.

That restriction has since been lifted and other hurdles have been addressed, but the Young Democrats of Arkansas say there are still people who have been waiting on their paperwork to process who still could face eviction. 

"What a shame it is that our governor allowed 2,800 Arkansas tenants to be put in this situation as they are waiting for rental relief and are being evicted," said Micah Wallace, VP of Young Democrats of Arkansas.

Another issue blamed for the delay in payment is staffing. State leaders said this week that the contractor administering the program has increased staffing by more than double.

RELATED: Arkansans facing rent relief delays after eviction moratorium expiration

RELATED: Members of Congress urge Arkansas to speed up the process to provide Emergency Rental Assistance