Millions of dollars in emergency Arizona rental; few applications submitted

Millions of dollars in emergency Arizona rental; few applications submitted

Rental assistance has increased across Arizona, but some people are still unable to get the help they need.

It’s now been a week since tenants and landlords in Arizona saw hundreds of millions of dollars in rental assistance. However, the state has only received 330 applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program.

In view of the eviction moratoria and the massive loss of jobs, according to analysts, there is an enormous need for rental support despite the so far limited applications.

This is federal money that the state distributes to all counties except Maricopa, Pima and Yuma counties. These three are opting for their own utilities that will launch shortly.

However, residents in our state’s 12 rural counties may not be aware that this support is available.

Randi Rosen, a Pinetop resident, says she is hundreds of dollars behind her rent and would like to apply, but was struggling to get through.

According to the state, Navajo County only made 12 applications for the aid program in the first week. Rosen said she wasn’t aware of the program until FOX 10 informed her about it last week.

“I’m the kind of person who pays rent on time every month and I don’t want to have to call … and say, ‘We’re going to be short because we have to pay more on the water bill or pay more on the gas bill'”, said Rosen.

The Ministry of Economic Security, which is distributing the funds, says it is working to continue working with county partners to make sure people know the funds exist.

Phoenix hopes to launch its own rental assistance program on March 8th.

Joanna Carr of the Arizona Housing Coalition says, “It’s incredibly surprising because, as far as we know, so many people are in need of this resource.

She says the money is badly needed, but the problem could be a lack of awareness.

“Eviction rulings are piling up and once the moratorium is lifted evictions will be carried out so we know that rental support is needed there. I really think we need to speak,” said Carr.

Arizonans have millions of dollars available for emergency rentals

Breakdown of applications for rental support by district

Of the 330 applications submitted to the state, the highest percentage of applicants were in Pinal (33%), Coconino (20%), Yavapai (15%) and Mohave (12%) counties.

The remaining applications included the counties of Cochise (7%), Navajo (4%), Gila (3%), Santa Cruz (2%), Graham (2%), La Paz (1%) and Apache (1%).

Greenlee County didn’t file a single application as of March 3.

“As the more populous Arizona cities and counties will have their own individual rental assistance programs, the state program is limited to primarily rural communities,” said a statement from the Department of Economic Security. “We will continue to provide communications and outreach for the areas in which we operate and will continue to work with our county partners to ensure those in need are aware of the availability of the program.”

How payment support works

“DES will approve an eligible household’s needs up to $ 3,500 per month for combined rental and utility services. Arrears from March 2020 will be prioritized. Future assistance will be approved in increments of three months. Support will be available for a maximum of 15 months. “


Eligibility on the DES website is based on the renter’s address and ability to meet the following federal criteria:

  • Risk of homelessness, instability of living space or insecure living conditions, evidenced by an eviction notice, a switch-off notice, an overdue rental notice, an overdue provider notice, other indications of unsafe or unhealthy living conditions or housing instability
  • The tenant or the member of the tenant’s household is entitled to unemployment insurance benefits or has financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The tenant’s household income does not exceed 80% of the area median income (AMI).

How do I apply?

The portal is available online at 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Applicants can apply on the website and check the status of their application.

During the application process, tenants must provide:

  • Copy or lease / rental agreement
  • Photo ID
  • Electricity and / or gas bill
  • Separation notice (if any)
  • Proof of income
  • Eviction notice (if applicable)
  • Proof of hardship like a letter of resignation

Similar programs in larger cities

According to the DES website, “several large counties and cities, including Maricopa Counties, Pima Counties, and Yuma Counties, are receiving funding direct from the federal government. These counties are planning to start their own rental assistance programs, which will be separate from this Department of Arizona program economic security (DES). “

Renters living in areas outside of the locations listed above can contact the following cities and counties for more information on their rental support programs:

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