Arkansas

  • State Data Overview

    Across Arkansas, there is a shortage of rental homes affordable and available to extremely low income households (ELI), whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline or 30% of their area median income (AMI). Many of these households are severely cost burdened, spending more than half of their income on housing. Severely cost burdened poor households are more likely than other renters to sacrifice other necessities like healthy food and healthcare to pay the rent, and to experience unstable housing situations like evictions.

    K
    e
    y
    F
    a
    c
    t
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    107,431
    Or
    27%
    Renter households that are extremely low income
    $25,750
    Maximum income for 4-person extremely low income household (state level)
    -51,507
    Shortage of rental homes affordable and available for extremely low income renters
    $30,372
    Annual household income needed to afford a two-bedroom rental home at HUD's Fair Market Rent.
    61%
    Percent of extremely low income renter households with severe cost burden
  • State Level Partners

    NLIHC Housing Advocacy Organizer

    Brooke Schipporeit

    Brooke Schipporeit 

    202.662.1530 x233 | [email protected]

    State Partners

    Arkansas Coalition of Housing and Neighborhood Growth for Empowerment
    P.O. Box 3615
    Little Rock, AR 72203
    P 501-558-3102
    www.achange.org
    Martie North, President, Board of Directors
    [email protected]

    Housing Arkansas
    1501 N. University Avenue
    Little Rock, AR 72207
    501-666-9629
    www.housingar.org
    Sara Braswell, Housing Arkansas Chair
    [email protected]

    Become an NLIHC State Partner

    NLIHC’s affiliation with our state coalition partners is central to our advocacy efforts. Although our partners' involvement varies, they are all housing and homeless advocacy organizations engaged at the state and federal level. Many are traditional coalitions with a range of members; others are local organizations that serve more informally as NLIHC's point of contact.

    Inquire about becoming a state partner by contacting [email protected]

    Become a Member
  • Housing Trust Fund
    HTF Implementation Information

    NLIHC continues working with leaders in each state and the District of Columbia who will mobilize advocates in support of HTF allocation plans that benefit ELI renters to the greatest extent possible. Please contact the point person coordinating with NLIHC in your state (below) to find out about the public participation process and how you can be involved. Email Brooke Schipporeit with any questions.

    NHTF logo
    Current Year HTF Allocation
    NLIHC Point Person for HTF Advocacy

    Martie North

    Board President

    ACHANGE

    501-558-3102

    [email protected]
     

    Vanessa Nehus

    Co-Chairperson

    Housing Arkansas

    501-301-1114

    [email protected]

    State Designated Entity:

    Aaron Burkes
    President
    Arkansas Development Finance Authority
    501-682-3339
    [email protected]

    Official Directly Involved with HTF Implementation:

    Lori Brockway
    Federal Housing Programs Manager
    501-682-3339

    [email protected]


    State Entity Webpage

    Arkansas Development Finance Authority


    NHTF-specific pages

    National Housing Trust Fund

    Forms

  • Resources
    Resources

    Housing Profiles

    State Housing Profile

    State Housing Profile: Arkansas (PDF) (JPG)

    Congressional District Housing Profile

    Congressional District Profile: Arkansas (PDF)

    Research and Data

    National Housing Preservation Database

    The National Housing Preservation Database is an address-level inventory of federally assisted rental housing in the United States.

    Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing

    Out of Reach documents the gap between renters’ wages and the cost of rental housing. In Arkansas and Nationwide

    The Gap: A Shortage of Affordable Rental Homes

    The Gap represents data on the affordable housing supply and housing cost burdens at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. In Arkansas and Nationwide

  • Take Action
    Take Action! Ask Your Senators to Co-sponsor Important Housing Legislation
    Tell Congress to Protect and Expand the National Housing Trust Fund
  • COVID-19 Resources
    COVID-19 Resources

    NLIHC has estimated a need for no less than $100 billion in emergency rental assistance and broke down the need and cost for each state (download Excel spreadsheet). 

    In response to COVID-19 and its economic fallout, many cities and states are creating or expanding rental assistance programs to support individuals and families impacted by the pandemic, and NLIHC is tracking in-depth information on these programs.  

    You can use the interactive map and searchable database to find state and local emergency rental assistance programs near you. You can also see the latest news on rental assistance programs through the state-by-state news tracker. Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all rental assistance programs as we continue to update frequently. If you are aware of a program not included in our database, please contact [email protected]

    COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Programs

    Across the country, homeless service providers are struggling to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to follow public health guidelines and help ensure people’s safety, some shelters are being forced to reduce services, restrict admittance, or close entirely. The loss of these critical resources puts people experiencing homelessness at even higher risk of illness. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of shelter closings.

    Below is a list of shelters that have had to majorly alter services or completely close:


    No information at this time. 

    Thousands of Arkansans will be at risk of eviction when the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of July. The City of Hot Springs has been distributing emergency rental assistance, but it is expected to run out of aid in several days. The Arkansas Department of Human Services still has rental assistance available.
    Updated on July 22, 2021


    Organizers with Arkansas Renters United have partnered with the Democratic Party of Arkansas and the Young Democrats of Arkansas to inform renters about the CDC eviction moratorium and the steps they must take to be protected. Advocates say many evictions are happening simply because renters do not know about the moratorium. The groups say they have knocked on 14,000 doors across the state and intervened in more than 130 evictions.

    Updated on May 3, 2021


    Arkansas Renters United says renters desperately need more rental assistance. While President Biden’s action to extend the federal eviction moratorium through March 31 is crucial, many Arkansans are struggling to find work and afford their rent. In 2020, more than 3,000 households in Arkansas faced eviction for nonpayment of rent. Tenants who are facing eviction can reach out to Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services.

    Updated on March 01, 2021


    The Arkansas Times compiled a list of resources for Arkansans in need of housing, healthcare, food, and other types of assistance.

    The city of Hot Springs solicited proposals from nonprofit groups interested in overseeing the disbursement of nearly $130,000 in federal funds allocated for rent and utility assistance. The city board also allocated nearly $318,000 from the city’s CDBG-CV funds to acquire a quarantine shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness and low-income residents.

    An unprecedented number of evictions and a rise in homelessness in Arkansas is expected when the CDC eviction moratorium expires on January 31. A U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey found that more than 425,000 Arkansans are behind on rent, and roughly half reported having zero confidence they can pay next month’s rent.

    Cleburne County Circuit Judge Holly Meyer declared the CDC eviction moratorium unconstitutional under both the U.S. and Arkansas Constitutions. The judge reasoned that because Arkansas did not take action to help tenants avoid eviction, the court should not either.

    Updated on January 15, 2021


    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that landlords and property managers filed 1,339 unlawful detainer lawsuits from September 1 to November 20. Housing experts in Arkansas are bracing for a spike in evictions and homelessness when the federal eviction moratorium expires at the end of the year. Many tenants do not know about the federal eviction moratorium or the steps they must take to be protected.

    Updated on December 9, 2020


    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that less than a week after its launch, organizers of Arkansas’ largest rental assistance program added a disclaimer to its website that the program’s systems, including email responses, may be delayed due to high demand. The announcement is indicative of what housing advocates and providers continue to say: the need for rental assistance is far greater than available resources.

    Updated on November 30, 2020


    The Arkansas Community Action Agencies Association will be offering emergency rental assistance for people impacted by COVID-19 through a new program called “Arkansas Fresh Start.” 

    Updated on November 10, 2020


    Arkansans impacted by COVID-19 who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless can apply for rental and housing assistance through the state’s COVID-19 Emergency Solutions Grants

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette explains the CDC eviction moratorium, linking to Arkansas Legal Services’ website that has an interactive CDC declaration form and information about accessing free legal assistance. 

    Arkansas is the only state in the nation that allows landlords to file criminal – rather than civil – charges against tenants for nonpayment of rent. The law disproportionately impacts female, Black, and low-income renters. ProPublica and the Arkansas Nonprofit News Network report that since mid-March, more than 200 new failure to vacate cases have been filed statewide, and at least seven women were detained or sentenced to jail for not appearing in court. 

    Updated on November 4, 2020


    Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, eviction filings in Arkansas are increasing. Thousands of Arkansas residents remain unemployed and some have either exhausted or do not qualify for rental assistance.

    Updated on October 26, 2020


    Arkansas’ Department of Human Services announced the state has received $23 million in Emergency Solutions Grants – Coronavirus (ESG-CV) to provide homelessness prevention, rapid rehousing, street outreach, and emergency shelter. 

    Updated on October 19, 2020


    Of six unlawful detainer civil hearings in Pulaski County Circuit Court last week, judges granted evictions in all but one. While some landlords had legal representation, none of the tenants did. Many Arkansas tenants are not aware of the CDC eviction moratorium or the steps they must take to receive protection under the order.

    Updated on October 14, 2020


    KNWA reports court data indicate evictions in Arkansas have increased by 40% from July. Rental assistance is needed to prevent a wave of evictions when the CDC moratorium expires, and Arkansas’ rental assistance is insufficient to meet the overwhelming need for aid. The article cites NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel’s tweet about growing evidence that corporate landlords are trying to rush evictions through the courts before tenants learn about their rights under the federal moratorium.

    Updated on September 22, 2020


    WREG reports that court records indicate a sharp increase in eviction filings in Arkansas in the late summer months ahead of the CDC moratorium. NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel spoke about the federal eviction moratorium and the need for rental assistance in an interview with WREG.  

    Despite the CDC’s national eviction moratorium, Arkansas renters and housing advocates are concerned that renters will fall off a financial cliff when back-rent is owed if the federal government does not provide rental assistance. Arkansas Renters United, a grassroots tenants’ rights organization, protested at the offices of Republican Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman, calling on them to pass the $100 billion in emergency rental assistance included in the “HEROES Act.” 

    Updated on September 15, 2020


    More than 275 evictions were filed in Arkansas in July and 233 evictions in June. Only 40 tenants filed answers to the civil evictions filed in July. Arkansas’ Unlawful Detainer eviction law requires tenants to pay the court one month’s rent before a hearing is allowed, making it incredibly difficult for tenants to obtain a hearing. Only one Circuit Court Judge, Chip Welch, announced that, because of the pandemic, he will not issue a writ of possession unless there is a hearing first.

    Updated on August 19, 2020.


    The number of eviction filings in Arkansas spiked by more than 100 in June, causing advocates and experts to fear a sharp increase in evictions when the federal eviction moratorium expires July 25. National trends also point to a looming eviction crisis. “These evictions that are being filed are the canaries in the coal mine about further evictions that are coming down the road, said NLIHC Vice President of Public Policy Sarah Saadian.

    Updated on July 7, 2020.


    nonprofit in El Dorado is increasing its outreach efforts to people experiencing homelessness by assembling care packages containing food and personal items that will be distributed twice a week.

    Updated on June 29, 2020.


    The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Mobile Testing Unit has partnered with local advocates to expand coronavirus testing to people experiencing homelessness. UAMS held an event on May 11 in Hot Springs that included testing and distributing tents, blanks, and sanitary supplies.

    Arkansas nonprofits and community members have partnered to provide rental assistance to low-income renters impacted by the pandemic. Seven nonprofits have launched a campaign to help prevent families from becoming homeless by creating a donation website and a housing assistance hotline.


    An Arkansas Democrat-Gazette report uncovered at least 300 evictions filed under the state’s unlawful-detainer law since March 11. Lynn Foster, a law professor, identified more than 60 unlawful detainer eviction suits filed throughout Arkansas between March 27 and April 17. Arkansas is the only state that classifies nonpayment of rent as a criminal offense.

    Little Rock awarded nearly $30,000 in grants to assist local homeless service providers respond to COVID-19. Fifteen providers received funds to purchase disinfecting supplies, personal items, thermometers, tents, and other supplies.

    Arkansas will be freeing up $5 million in Homelessness initiatives as part of an initiative to address the COVID-19 crisis by Governor Asa Hutchinson.

    Fayetteville

    Fayetteville will use federal CARES Act funding to provide resources to people experiencing homelessness, among other services. Seven agencies would receive a total of $197,772, and the balance of $238,563 will go to a city program providing rental and bill assistance. The Community Development Block Grant programs in Northwest Arkansas received more than $1.1 million in coronavirus relief money.

    Federal, state, and local eviction moratoriums are rapidly expiring and the CARES Act supplemental unemployment benefits will end soon; at that time, millions of low-income renters will be at risk of losing their homes. The NLIHC estimates at least $100 billion in emergency rental assistance is needed to keep low-income renters stably housed during and after the pandemic. This tracker links to news reports of the growing evictions crisis in various cities and states. Check NLIHC's cumulative list of eviction updates.


    More than 275 evictions were filed in Arkansas in July and 233 evictions in June. Only 40 tenants filed answers to the civil evictions filed in July. Arkansas’ Unlawful Detainer eviction law requires tenants to pay the court one month’s rent before a hearing is allowed, making it incredibly difficult for tenants to obtain a hearing. Only one Circuit Court Judge, Chip Welch, announced that, because of the pandemic, he will not issue a writ of possession unless there is a hearing first.

    Updated on August 28, 2020.


    As of July 25, landlords can file evictions, but cannot actually evict until August 25.  More than 275 evictions were filed in Arkansas in July, in June, there were 233.

    Updated: August 12


    No statewide order was ever issued. The Courts have remained open, with online hearings encouraged by the State Supreme Court in March and April, and many beginning in-person proceedings in May.On April 28, the State Supreme Court ruled that all landlords filing evictions must prove their property is not covered by the CARES Act moratorium until its expiration. Eviction cases have resumed both remotely and in person. 

    Updated: August 1


    In the third week of July, 26.7% of adults in Arkansas reported they had missed their previous housing payment or had little confidence they would make their next one on time, according to a weekly survey conducted by the Census. In the same survey, over one hundred thousand renters reported they had not paid their previous rental payment

    Pulaski CountyAbout 200 evictions have been filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court between March 27 and July 17. July 20

    Updated: July 29


    Arkansas is the only state in the nation that makes failure to pay rent a criminal violation, and one of only eight states that made no action to suspend evictions during the pandemic. At least 100 unlawful detainer suits--precursors to evictions--were filled in the month of April, 177 were filed in May, and 287 in June. These numbers understate the true nature of the evictions crisis in Arkansas because they only encompass courts that post their filings to the state’s online search engineAccording to a weekly survey by the Census, 1 in 4 adults in the state either missed their last housing payment or have little/no confidence of being able to make next month’s housing payment.

    Updated: July 16

    COVID-19 Resources Other

    National Media

    What to Know About Housing and Rent During the COVID-19 Emergency? https://tinyurl.com/y74ox85d

    Arbor Realty Trust launched an innovative $2 million rental assistance program to help thousands of tenants and families significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Arbor is contributing $1 million to the program and participating borrowers will match Arbor's advances to its tenants in need to help fill the rent gap during the hard-hit months of May and June. Together, the partnership program will provide $2 million in relief. https://tinyurl.com/y9r6x9vb