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$2.4 million in affordable housing funds up for grabs in Benton Co.

The $2.4 million dollars is up for grabs by organizations wanting to help build affordable housing.

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. — Some say that affordable housing is in short supply in Northwest Arkansas, but Benton County has received $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury under the American Rescue Plan that’s now up for grabs.

Organizations can apply for these funds to help build more multi-family affordable housing.

“One of the things that comes with being a prosperous county is we have a lot of growth here, we have a lot of demand for housing, property, and land. And what that means is there's a lot of folks who frankly don't have access to affordable housing,” said Judge Barry Moehring.

Back in February of 2021, Benton County partnered with the Excellerate Foundation to offer emergency rental assistance to people in the county impacted by covid. Judge Barry Moehring says over the last year, they’ve virtually had no takers. Since the federal program was set to expire, they were able to convert part of those funds to be used for permanent housing. He says these funds would be used in conjunction with other programs to build bigger projects. He says this housing would be for people like teachers and first responders.


“A lot of them have a difficult time keeping up with some of the housing prices here in Benton County. So, this grant will help with multifamily housing, and ... that'll help at least bridge till people can buy permanent housing,” said Moering.

Jeff Webster is the CEO of the Excellerate Foundation. He says they plan on applying for the program.

“We're not the developer, but we have experience in pulling together the right groups of people to do this. So probably over the last few years, you've seen us pull together a big syndicate fund to help with funding for affordable projects in Northwest Arkansas. We helped pull that together a $40 million fund,” said Webster.

Webster says while their organization Hark NWA helps people with rent, food, and many other things, people’s top need is housing.

“Housing [prices] are so high that they can barely make their rents. And a lot of things suffer then within the family when that happens. So it's a huge need,” he said.

The Benton County Quorum Court will decide how the funds are allocated. Applications are due by Wednesday, June 7 at 4 p.m.

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