LR agency won't evict public-housing tenants

Public housing residents in Little Rock will not be evicted amid the spread of covid-19, the Metropolitan Housing Alliance's executive director said Tuesday.

The housing agency is also not terminating anyone using Section 8 vouchers for housing, Anthony Snell said. He said the agency is encouraging landlords to work with tenants.

"This thing is going to be a hardship in many individuals' lives," Snell said.

He said the housing agency will work with the property management company it contracts with on rent forbearance.

Snell added that evictions that were already in progress may still take place, but he said Pulaski County court closures could mean they too won't occur.

The agency is taking other steps to stem the spread of the illness, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency will restrict building access to its administrative building starting Friday.

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Tenants are asked to communicate with the agency via mail and online, Snell said. Meetings, if needed, will be one-on-one.

"Our focus is to ensure the safety of our employees, the residents and our participants," he said.

Snell said he had been communicating with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development amid the pandemic and is keeping up with recommendations from national professional organizations on the best practices for housing agencies.

The Metropolitan Housing Alliance has asked all residents to reduce the number of visitors to public housing complexes.

The agency also has coordinated with the Little Rock mayor's office to deliver meals to public housing residents. Snell said Tuesday about 10,000 meals were being delivered a day.

Metro on 03/18/2020