Arkansas Fresh Start program offers rent payment assistance

Arkansans who have fallen behind on their rent due to the health and economic impacts caused by the Coronavirus can apply for assistance through a new program launched recently.

The program, called Arkansas Fresh Start, was created through recent state legislative action, and takes advantage of $10 Million in federal grants to provide rental assistance to low-to-middle-income Arkansans.

Eligible applicants can receive up to 2.5 months of rent, with monthly rent assistance not exceed the fair market rental value (“FMRV”) as determined by Housing & Urban Development (HUD) for the dwelling occupied by the applicant.

To qualify for assistance under the program, applicants must be a full time Arkansas resident, be a renter with income at or below 80% of the area median income as determined by HUD, , and have an eligible rent expennce that was incurred on or after March 18 that is past due or a notice of pending eviction, or have been evicted within the previous thirty days. Applicants must also complete the CDC Moratorium Declaration stating they are unable to make rent payments because of the public heath emergency due to unemployment, illness, or another COVID-19 related issue.

According to the website, the program will last as long as funds are available in each county, and assistance is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information, or to apply for assistance, visit