Resources, Protections are Available for Renters Facing Potential Eviction During COVID Pandemic
By Lisa Padilla -
Tuesday Nov 17, 2020
Individuals and families facing potential eviction with the end of the state rental eviction moratorium on Oct. 31 still have access to eviction protections under a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium that expires on Dec. 31 as well as financial assistance through funds available through the state and the city of Phoenix.
Cynthia Zwick, executive director of Wildfire, a nonprofit poverty-fighting agency, pointed out that “funds are available to all qualifying residents including individuals who may not traditionally seek assistance. We want to make sure that everyone knows funding is available for families impacted by COVID, including those who may never have sought or needed help before.”
Wildfire is managing a funding source for rent, mortgage, water bills and electricity through the City of Phoenix. Complete information about available funding levels and agencies providing assistance in applying for help can be found at https://wildfireaz.org/phxcares
Assistance is available through partnering agencies throughout the City of Phoenix and across Arizona.
Data shows that areas in Phoenix where financial assistance is available but not significantly accessed include Council District 1 (northwest Phoenix), District 2 (northeast Phoenix), District 3 (north central Phoenix) and District 6 (east central Phoenix).
Prior to the expiration of the state moratorium, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey allocated an additional $2 million to the Arizona Department of Housing’s Rental Eviction Prevention Fund, which started in March with a $5 million allocation. The Rental Eviction Prevention Fund assists renters struggling to keep their homes because they are behind on rent payments.
Ducey also allocated $5 million to the Arizona Rental Property Owner Preservation Fund to pay landlords struggling during the eviction moratorium. The fund’s original $5 million allotment was depleted in September.
Renters in Arizona who applied for eviction protection during the state ban can apply for protection under the CDC eviction moratorium, but will still be responsible for paying past-due rents if they don’t qualify.
To qualify for the federal moratorium, tenants must sign a declaration that they lost income during the pandemic, cannot make full rent payments, will try to make partial payments, applied for rental help and would be homeless or in cramped, unsafe living conditions if evicted. To qualify, renters must earn less than $99,000 a year while couples filing joint tax returns must earn less than $198,000 a year.
“These are tremendously difficult times for so many individuals and families who are on the verge of losing their homes,” said Wildfire Executive Director Cynthia Zwick. “The City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona and many other communities are doing what they can to provide support for residents impacted by the pandemic who are desperate to protect themselves and their families. We encourage those needing some assistance right now to reach out.”