Pima County sees backlog in rental assistance processing

Rental assistance

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - According to a Pima County memo released by Administrator Chuck Huckelberry, “approximately 7,500 rental assistance applications” have been received since the coronavirus began.

The same memo says 4,300 applications remain to be reviewed and processed.

“So last week we talked to a guy who applied way back in March and he still hasn’t gotten it,” said Joe Ferguson, a Constable in District 9. “There’s lots of people, I gotta tell you, that are just waiting for their rental assistance.”

Pima County says it will hire an additional 25 people next week to review the cases and clear up the backlog.

Compounding the problem, Congress has apparently allowed the $600 a week federal unemployment benefit to expire threatening to exacerbate the problem.

Nearly a million people in Arizona are receiving the benefits but it isn’t known if those will continue.

Congress is working on an extension but it appears they are far apart.

“If you’re a renter, you should reach out to the property manager or landlord and let them know the situation,” said Eric Freeman, a tax accountant for Beach Fleischman in Tucson. “Let them know in writing what’s going on.”

One of the most important things to prevent eviction is to work out a deal or a payment plan with the landlords.

The county says it has $20.5 mil in six different funding programs that people can use to stave off eviction.

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