Arkansas turning down remaining federal rental assistance

Apr 22, 2022, 3:31 PM | Updated: 3:48 pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday said he was refusing most of $146 million in federal pandemic rental assistance the state was to receive, citing the state’s low unemployment rate and economic climate.

With Hutchinson’s decision, Arkansas joins Nebraska in turning down the latest round of pandemic rental assistance funds.

Hutchinson, a Republican, asked U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that the state be allowed to use 39% of the funds — about $60 million — for “housing stability” programs offered by nonprofit groups that would include job training, education and treatment as well as some rental assistance.

Arkansas still has about $20 million from the first round of rental assistance that was given to states.

“Our economy has returned, there’s jobs aplenty out there and we have existing programs in place for rental assistance that were pre-pandemic,” Hutchinson told reporters at a news conference at the Capitol.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, a Republican, turned down the funding and earlier this month vetoed legislation that would have forced him to apply for the money.

States and localities have until September to spend their share of the first $25 billion allocated, known as ERA1, and the second $21.55 billion, known as ERA2, by 2025. Treasury says $30 billion had been spent or allocated through February.

Hutchinson said he planned to talk with the White House about his proposal.

Housing advocates and Democratic lawmakers said the move would hurt renters around the state.

“Instead of refusing to put money in the pockets of Arkansan families in need, we should be making it easier for families to stay in their homes and make ends meet,” Rich Huddleston, executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said.

Democratic Sen. Greg Leding said the decision didn’t make sense, considering that other states are accepting the assistance.

“There are still people who are struggling to make rent,” Leding said. “I think there’s just still a lot of variability in our economy.”

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A strike sign is displayed by an entrance at Waterloo train station, in London, during a railway wo...
Associated Press

Here we go again: Strike snarls UK trains for a third day

LONDON (AP) — Train stations were all but deserted across Britain on Saturday, as the third day of a national strike snarled the weekend plans of millions. Train companies said only a fifth of passenger services would run, as about 40,000 cleaners, signalers, maintenance workers and station staff walked off the job in Britain’s biggest […]
3 hours ago
Local resident Tetyana points at her house heavily damaged by the Russian shelling in Bakhmut, Done...
Associated Press

Russia pushes to block 2nd city in eastern Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian forces are trying to block a city in eastern Ukraine, the region’s governor said Saturday, after their relentless assault on a nearby city forced Ukrainian troops to begin withdrawal after weeks of intense fighting. Russia also launched missile attacks on areas far from the heart of the eastern battles. Serhiy […]
3 hours ago
Bangladesh's longest bridge, which took eight years to build amid setbacks involving political conf...
Associated Press

Bangladesh marks opening of country’s longest bridge

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday celebrated the opening of the country’s longest bridge, which took eight years to build amid setbacks involving political conflict and corruption allegations. The 6.51-kilometer (4.04-mile) bridge spanning the Padma River cost an estimated $3.6 billion and was paid for with domestic funds after the […]
3 hours ago
Police prepare their equipment and gather prior to a demonstration ahead of the G7 summit in Munich...
Associated Press

Protests expected as G-7 leaders set to arrive in Germany

MUNICH (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to gather in Munich on Saturday as the Group of Seven leading economic powers hold their annual gathering in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, which holds the G-7´s rotating presidency this year. Police were expecting at least 20,000 protesters in the Bavarian city, the German […]
3 hours ago
A model displays the collection by Russian designer Slava Zaitsev during the opening of the Fashion...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Moscow Fashion Week sprawls across the capital

MOSCOW (AP) — Chic and adventurous models and couturiers have been spread all over the Russian capital for Moscow Fashion Week, flaunting their designs in venues ranging from a sprawling Stalin-era propaganda exposition to a large park near the Kremlin admired for its innovative features. More than 100 shows are being held during the week […]
3 hours ago
Hundreds of people were slaughtered in a village and its surroundings this month in the latest expl...
Associated Press

‘Total bloodbath’: Witnesses describe Ethiopia ethnic attack

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The heavily armed men appeared around the small farming village in Ethiopia’s Oromia region, frightening residents already on edge after recent clashes between government troops and rebels. “The militants assured us that they will not touch us. They said they are not after us,” resident Nur Hussein Abdi told The Associated […]
3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
CANVAS ANNUITY

Best retirement savings rates hit 4.30%

Maximize your retirement savings with guaranteed fixed rates up to 4.30%. Did you know there is a financial product that can give you great interest rates as you build your retirement savings and provide you with a paycheck for life once you retire? It might sound too good to be true but it is not; this product is called an annuity.
Arkansas turning down remaining federal rental assistance