Maricopa County’s new program to help people who are struggling to pay rent helped with nearly $1 million during its first month of operation.
Since the County COVID Rental Assistance (CCRA) program launched July 15, more than 300 households have received a combined 662 months (or $993,000) of paid rent.
“There is an incredible need for rent assistance because of the economic downturn due to COVID-19,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “That’s why the board unanimously approved $30 million to fund this program using money from the CARES Act. We don’t want one crisis to lead to another.”
Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved funding for the new program June 8. The CCRA service and accompanying automated system were developed; agreements with Community Action Programs (CAPs) were established; staff was recruited, hired and trained (ongoing); and CCRA launched July 15.
“Every two weeks my department will post the number of started and completed applications so everyone has a complete picture of our progress,” said Bruce Liggett, director of Maricopa County Human Services Department, which is administering the program. “We are helping people through the application process so the money gets to those who truly need it.”
For information on program guidelines and referrals, visit maricopa.gov/covidrenthelp.
The county provided the following update on the program:
•Prescreen applications submitted—2,388.
•Prescreen applications awaiting documents—809.
•Complete applications with documents—822.
•Complete applications awaiting disposition—499.
•Households approved and assistance provided—323.
•Months approved and assistance provided—662.
There are three ways renters can apply for County COVID Rental Assistance:
•Apply on maricopa.gov/covidrenthelp.
•Apply at one of 13 Community Action sites (listed at maricopa.gov/covidrenthelp.).
•Applicants for the Arizona Department of Housing Rental Assistance program will also be considered.
According to the county, applications are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program allows for retroactive payments beginning in March 2020, and funds will be distributed through mid-December 2020 or when rental assistance funds have been fully expended.