Gov. Hutchinson has been ‘mischaracterized’ after decision to deny federal funds
Little Rock, Arkansas — Gov. Asa Hutchinson turned down accepting the full $146 million in federal funding available for rental assistance in Arkansas, last week, a move that has left many Arkansans at odds with his decision.
Hutchinson believes “the economy of Arkansas has returned and has existing programs in place for rental assistance that was pre-pandemic.”
According to the post from his Twitter account, “after distributing nearly $100 million in rental assistance during COVID, families are getting back on their feet and still have options for assistance if needed.”
The decision didn’t make sense and said there are plenty of Arkansans that have yet to recover and need the assistance, democratic Sen. Greg Leding said. “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.”
In response to critics, the governor said his decision has been “mischaracterized”. “This decision has been mischaracterized as eliminating all forms of rental assistance, but that’s not the case,” Hutchinson said. “We still have $6.7 million of unspent funding and the pre-pandemic assistance. Our goal is to use partners to help families achieve long-term housing stability,” said Hutchinson.
According to housing advocates, the move would hurt renters around the state. ‘Instead of refusing to put money in the pockets of Arkansas families in need, we should be making it easier for families to stay in their homes and make ends meet,” Rich Huddleston, the executive director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, said.