Yesterday HB1563 passed the House Insurance and Commerce Committee by a vote of 11 to 7. The NO votes were from Reps. Lundstrom, Penzo, Wooten, Ray, Boyd, and Brown. If one of these if your Representative, contact them and ask them to change their vote when the bill comes up in the full House! The House may vote on the bill as soon as Monday March 22, so please contact your Representative, whoever they are, and ask them to vote YES on HB1563! We’ve made many compromises to get it passed, but it is still a good bill that will help tenants. Every other state requires rental housing to be livable and gives tenants remedies if it’s not. Now is the time. If the House doesn’t pass the bill, it will most likely be dead this session. To find your Representative, click here. This is a first. Similar bills have been introduced in the last four sessions, and this is the first time a bill has been passed by a committee.
The pandemic has rendered thousands of Arkansans unable to pay the rent through no fault of their own. In January the federal government made available $173 million to DHS for rent assistance to Arkansans in 72 counties, and $27 million to Benton, Pulaski, and Washington counties, who have their own programs. As of last week