Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Play

Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.

Play

Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Eviction Moratorium May Help Some, But AR Remains Worst in Nation for Renters

Play

Thursday, September 10, 2020   

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a nationwide moratorium on evictions from now until the end of the year, but renters aren't automatically protected.

The CDC's effort to clamp down on homelessness during the pandemic and into the flu-season months will help some renters, but experts say Arkansas has a dismal record when it comes to renter's rights and rental assistance.

Lynn Foster, emeritus professor of law for the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, said renters have fewer rights in Arkansas than in any other state.

She said the most commonly used eviction procedure for nonpayment of rent is called an unlawful detainer. Under the provision, a tenant has five days to respond to the court order and must pay the owed rent amount in full.

"And in order to have a hearing before the court, they have to find the money that they couldn't pay in the first place and file it with the court," Foster explained. "To my knowledge, we're the only state that has a law like that, and it's clearly designed just to push tenants out as quickly and easily as possible for the landlord."

Foster said the CDC moratorium only applies to tenants who have signed the agency's declaration form and delivered it to their landlord.

Residents can find a copy of the form on the Arkansas Legal Services website.

For assistance, call 501-376-3423 if you live in central, southern and western Arkansas, or 1-800-952-9243 if you live in northwest or north central Arkansas.

Neil Sealy, executive director for Arkansas Renters United and Arkansas Community Organizations, said he worries about so-called "self-help" evictions occurring across the state, despite the CDC moratorium.

He said they often go unreported.

"But it's illegal, and that's when the landlord could cut off utilities and change the locks and force a tenant out, without going through the eviction process," Sealy said.

Foster said the CDC order does not relieve tenants of the obligation to pay rent owed or any late fees or other penalties.

When the moratorium expires on Dec. 31, she fears thousands of renters will ring in the new year owing large sums of money they don't have, with little help available.

"Our rent-assistance program leaves much to be desired," Foster said. "I have looked and looked for some kind of a mass list where a tenant could go to see where they can even apply for rent assistance. I don't think there is one. I haven't found one."

At least 36 states have established a statewide emergency fund to assist renters.

According to Census survey data, around 27% of Arkansas renters who live in households with children said they have no or little confidence they can pay next month's rent.


get more stories like this via email

Nearly 57% of Washingtonians who attended college but have no degree or certificate are age 35 or older. (Monkey Business/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The number of people with some higher education but no degree or other credential to show for it has increased in recent years, according to a new …


Environment

Starting this month, chemical companies will resume being taxed for cleanup of areas with a lot of leftover toxic waste, also known as Superfund …

Social Issues

Today is the deadline for Missouri residents to make sure they are registered to vote if they want to cast a ballot in the August primary. Eligible …


U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., is among the chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, founded in 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

As states ban abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, women's advocates in New York and beyond are raising awareness of the outsized impact …

Social Issues

The fate of more than 600,000 so-called "dreamers" hangs in the balance as opening statements are heard today in a case that could make or break the D…

In New Mexico, herds of pronghorn typically are found roaming the high plains throughout the eastern part of the state. (Steppinstars/Pixabay)

Environment

A four-year project to map big-game routes throughout the West will end without additional funds from Congress - at least for now. Since 2018…

Environment

Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …

Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021