News Release > Federal Rent, Utility Bill Assistance Now Available to Qualifying Arkansans
Federal Rent, Utility Bill Assistance Now Available to Qualifying Arkansans
Arkansans who are having trouble paying rent or utility bills due to COVID-19 can apply now for federal money to help cover costs incurred since April 2020, including Entergy Arkansas customers and others across the state.
“Because of COVID-19, many of our customers are facing unexpected financial hardship – some due to illness, loss of jobs and other factors,” said Entergy Arkansas Vice President of Customer Service Michael Considine. “These assistance programs along with payment plans can help Entergy Arkansas customers who rent their home keep their power on while they continue to navigate these unprecedented times.”
The Federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program has allocated $173 million to be administered through the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), and state officials estimate some 56,000 households will qualify for the program. DHS established the Arkansas Rent Relief Program to distribute the available funds.
Eligible households may receive up to 15 months of assistance for rent and/or utility costs incurred between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Covered utilities include electric, gas and water. Up to three months of future rent may be applied for at one time; utilities may be applied for monthly once the bill is received. Officials said an eligible household is defined as a renter household in which at least one or more individuals:
- qualifies for unemployment or has experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19;
- demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- has a household income at or below 80% area median income.
Landlords and tenants may submit an application for rent relief. Utility-only applicants do not need their landlord to submit an application. Funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility service providers, including Entergy Arkansas, for past due bills. Residents of Benton, Pulaski, and Washington counties must apply through their local county government, and more information is available through DHS or online at ar.gov/rentrelief.
Entergy Arkansas stopped all service disconnects for nonpayment in March 2020 but has resumed disconnections along with other utilities in the state per direction from the Arkansas Public Service Commission.
“Entergy Arkansas customers who have outstanding bills should contact us online, through the Entergy app or by phone immediately to enroll in a payment plan and to avoid disconnection before it occurs,” Considine said.
For more information about the federal program, visit entergy.com/covid-19/rental-assistance. Other free programs are also available to help low income residential customers lower their energy usage and costs, along with bill payment assistance, and can be found online at entergy-arkansas.com/payment-options. To enroll in a payment plan, call 1-800-ENTERGY or use the Entergy app, which can be downloaded for Apple IOS or Android at this link - entergy.com/app.
ABOUT ENTERGY ARKANSAS
Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to approximately 715,000 customers in 63counties. Entergy Arkansas is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation, an integrated energy company engaged in electric power production, transmission and retail distribution operations. Entergy delivers electricity to 3 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy owns and operates one of the cleanest large-scale U.S. power generating fleets with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including 7,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana, Entergy has annual revenues of $10 billion and more than 13,000 employees. Learn more at entergy.com and follow @Entergy on social media.