Many people have fallen behind on their rent payments since the outbreak began. While the economy has improved since 2020, many people’s personal finances have not.
That means many people owe money to their landlords and are at risk of being evicted unless their obligations are paid.
The good news is that there has been a lot of money available to suffering tenants in the form of federal rental aid, nearly $46 billion in all. The funds were included in the last two stimulus measures that were enacted into law.
Many states have done an excellent job of distributing rent relief funding to low-income citizens. However, many are currently cash-strapped and unable to accept new rental aid applications.
Meanwhile, further rent assistance payments are still being granted to some jurisdictions. However, that does not imply that they will gladly accept the money.
Arkansas refuses to grant rent relief.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson indicated last week that the state will reject the majority of the $146 million in rental assistance monies that have been given to it. The state’s low unemployment rate and generally solid economy are the main causes.
Arkansas isn’t the first state to refuse rent assistance. Nebraska just turned down a round of funding as well.
Meanwhile, Arkansas’ refusal to accept the aid is due to more than simply the state’s robust economy. Governor Hutchinson emphasized that the state has rental assistance programs in place that were put in place prior to the pandemic to help residents maintain home stability. As a result, he believes that federal funding is unnecessary.
On the one hand, that move may be seen favorably. Hutchinson might have easily accepted the money, but instead recognizes that the state isn’t necessarily in need of it.
Some activists in Arkansas, on the other hand, argue that rejecting the federal funds will make it more difficult for struggling families to stay in their homes.
While many Americans have recovered from the pandemic’s impact, many are still struggling today, particularly in light of rising living and transportation costs.
As a result, it’s simple to see how a round of federal financing may help alleviate some of the constraints faced by cash-strapped people with little or no savings.
Some states are eager to accept assistance.
While Arkansas and Nebraska have declined federal rental assistance money, other states, such as New York, New Jersey, and California, have received additional funds to help struggling renters catch up on their payments. In fact, the federal government has been steadily clawing back payments from states that have not spent their rent relief money on schedule and redistributing them to states that need it the most.
That isn’t always a terrible thing. However, it is hoped that states that forego or lose rent relief payments do not harm people in the process.
It’s true that certain states have a higher proportion of renters than others, and that such states may require greater assistance. But, in the end, renters exist everywhere, and it would be a tragedy for anyone to lose their house due to a lack of funds.