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Pima County Eviction Prevention helping thousands of Arizonans in fear of eviction

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 6:16 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima County Eviction Prevention is helping thousands of Arizonans, following the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the federal eviction moratorium issued by the CDC in August.

Almost 120,000 tenants across the state say they are behind on their rent payments, according to the latest Census Household Pulse Survey. About 36,000 Arizona renters report they will most likely be evicted.

Jennie Grabel, director of marketing and communications for Pima County Eviction Prevention said they are urging renters and landlords to apply for assistance.

“We work with tenants who are living in a property that has a landlord and either the tenant or landlord applies to the program so we have a dual point of entry,” Grabel said. “Sometimes landlords can be vilified in all of this and that has never been our intent. We always want to work with both.”

The program may fund up to five months or $30,000 of total assistance for the following expenses:

  • No more than 12 months of unpaid rent due after March 13, 2020, and three months’ rent in advance.
  • Utilities, including electric, gas, propane, water, etc. (Telecommunication services, such as telephone and cable are NOT eligible for assistance.)
  • Reasonable court and legal fees incurred by the landlord in filing for eviction.
  • Other eligible costs as approved by the county.

Tucson resident Kehli Armstrong said without the program’s help she would be homeless.

“I feel very lucky. I thank God every day because if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t have called or asked,” Armstrong said.

At the start of this program, there was roughly $34 million in federal funding available between Pima County and the city of Tucson. There have been 20,330 requests for assistance so far and out of that, only 4,325 cases have received their money so far. All of that rental assistance has resulted in $22,700,518 of rental assistance paid.

“This was all happening throughout COVID. People lost their jobs. You just simply go to the website and as a tenant or a landlord you begin the process by entering in some information,” Grabel said. “The next step would be the tenant would have to income qualify because these federal dollars have some restrictions to them.”

In order to meet eligibility requirements, your total household income has to be at or below 80% area median income as established by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. At least one member of the household has to be eligible for unemployment or has experienced hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To apply for the assistance you can head to the county’s website, or you can call (520) 447-4423.

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