LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas officials said Wednesday that they have extended into next year the deadline for applying for rental relief after little of the state’s share of the federal funds for the program had been spent.

The state Department of Human Services announced the extension for the Arkansas Rent Relief Program, which was initially set to end on Dec. 31. The department said it would continue accepting applications as long as general rent relief funds were available.

Eligible tenants and landlords can apply for up to 15 months of unpaid rent or utilities incurred on or after April 1, 2020.

Arkansas had set aside $173 million in federal funds for the program for people who have lost jobs or struggled financially because of the pandemic. So far, though, more than $50 million has been paid out.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson in September eased rules for the program to prioritize the funds for tenants at immediate risk of being evicted.