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Arizona housing advocates fear rolling eviction crisis as governor's ban nears end

Gov. Ducey's COVID-related moratorium expires July 22. Top aide says he could take action this week. There are many avenues to get help.


If Arizona Governor Doug Ducey allows his ban on evictions to expire on July 22, advocates for homeowners and renters are concerned the state could face a cascading eviction crisis over the next several months.

“That is definitely the fear. There are thousands of people in the pipeline,” Patricia Garcia Duarte, president and chief executive officer of Trellis, a housing advocacy non-profit, said on this weekend’s “Sunday Square Off.” 

The end of the eviction ban would come about the same time as a $600-a-week federal unemployment benefit also expires, eliminating a major financial support for renters impacted by COVID-19.

“We’ve been advising people that if they can make their payments, to make sure that they do,” Duarte said. 

A top aide to the governor told 12 News Sunday that he could announce a new program that would benefit tenants, homeowners and landlords as soon as this week. 

Advocates Seek Extension

Housing groups have asked the governor to extend the moratorium until the end of the year.

Ducey issued an executive order in March placing a moratorium on evictions for renters or homeowners who’ve been impacted by COVID-19.

Arizona courts are preparing for a surge in evictions when the moratorium ends. 

Ducey’s order bar evictions but hasn’t delayed eviction proceedings, creating a backlog of pending evictions.

How To Get Help

Renters and homeowners who’ve been affected by COVID-19 can get one-time financial help through the City of Phoenix with utility bills (up to $600); Phoenix water bills (up to $300) and rent or mortgage payments (up to $3,300). 

The period covered is March 1 through December 30. 

Applicants must be Phoenix residents and have a lawful presence in the United States; and be financially impacted by COVID-19, but not necessarily delinquent on payments.

Phoenix residents can apply through Trellis; outside Phoenix, the Arizona Department of Housing has links to agencies handling rent assistance.

Maricopa County also has a program that helps out with rent and utility bills. 

Homeowners who’ve fallen behind on mortgage payments for COVID-related reasons can get help from the state’s foreclosure assistance program

READ: The Work is Hard and Not Done: Being Black in the Valley

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