TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - President Joe Biden signed a slew of executive orders in his first two days in office, one of them extending the federal eviction freeze until the end of March.
“We’re thinking that there actually would have been a few thousand families that would have been in immediate peril of being evicted,” Pima County Constable Kristen Randall said.
She said the county would have seen an avalanche of evictions at the end of January if the freeze had not been extended until March 31. She said the courts are seeing up to 200 eviction filings each week.
The City of Tucson, Pima County and a nonprofit plan to work together to give out this next round of federal rental assistance. Randall expects they’ll receive a few million dollars from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in the next few weeks.
“We can get the money to help keep the families in their homes, backpay all the back rent, sometimes we can get them ahead another month and then it also helps the landlords stay solvent as well,” she said.
Nonprofits like the Salvation Army are also working to help families in need.
“We’re getting generally about 200 calls a week from people to get rental assistance,” Nicole Cruz, a family services program coordinator at the Salvation Army, said.
The organization recently received additional funding to help those impacted by the pandemic.
“The phone calls we’re getting and the tears and the stories, it’s hard for our Tucson community right now,” she said.