Maricopa County Lands an Additional $39 Million in Emergency Rental Assistance
Federal Funds Extend Aid Available to Maricopa County Renters Facing Eviction
Renters in Maricopa County who are facing eviction due to non-payment of rent or utility shut-offs now have access to an additional $39 million in emergency rental assistance. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted on Jan. 26 to accept the $39 million in federal funding in a program dubbed Emergency Rental Assistance 1.0 or ERA 1.0.
This significant influx of funding is due to a reallocation process by the U.S. Department of Treasury that redirected funding from grantees who did not use their full allocation. The initial distribution of the first round of federal funding was so efficient, that Maricopa County became eligible to receive additional funding.
“I’m so proud of the way our Human Services staff has delivered for Maricopa County residents during this time of crisis. They’ve not only distributed tens of millions of dollars in rental assistance to keep people in their homes, they’ve done it so efficiently that the federal government says our county deserves more money to prevent evictions. That’s an additional $39 million that would not have been possible without caring, compassionate county staff committed to the people they serve and to processes that make the most of taxpayer dollars,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3.
To be eligible for the additional funding through ERA 1.0, agencies not only had to demonstrate the need, but also the expeditious distribution of previous allocations by a federally imposed deadline. Maricopa County not only met the federally mandated milestone for expeditious assistance distribution but it was also recognized at the national level by the U.S. Department of Treasury as a best practice for its fact-based proxies and procedures.
“This additional funding will allow us to directly deliver relief to families and individuals who are still at risk of eviction as a result of financial hardships brought on by the pandemic,” said Jacqueline Edwards, Director of Maricopa County’s Human Services Department which administers these funds. “We have seen a tremendous need in the community for assistance, so when the opportunity came available to receive a reallocation of funds unused by other agencies, we made sure Maricopa County was in the running for another round of funding.”
In a typical year, Maricopa County has provided approximately $4–5 million in rent and utility assistance annually through a network of ten local Community Action Programs. In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved the use of three separate funding streams for rent and utility assistance, totaling more than $138 million.
With the increase in the volume of funding distributed directly to landlords and utility providers on behalf of renters, the Human Services Department was able to quickly expand its information systems and staffing to accommodate the high volume of requests coming in for relief. Throughout the pandemic, Maricopa County has met regularly with other Emergency Rental Assistance agencies to share best practices for the betterment of all agencies administering rental assistance in Arizona.
For the latest report on the status of how much emergency rental and utility assistance has been paid directly to landlords and utility providers, visit HSD.Maricopa.gov.
Maricopa County’s overall allocation and use of $435 million in federal relief ARPA funds are directed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in approved spending priorities that can be tracked on a public dashboard. To access emergency rental and utility assistance and other available aid, Maricopa County residents can visit www.Maricopa.gov/Rescue.
About Maricopa County Human Services
As the fourth largest county in the nation home to some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, Maricopa County’s population is large, growing and more diverse than ever. Maricopa County’s Human Services Department has five divisions that provide services and programs to people of all ages and abilities to promote their well-being. From offering early education to career training and employment services to case management for aging and disabled adults — the Human Services Department serves as a leader in the region to support strong families, neighborhoods, and community relationships. Learn more about the financial, educational, and support resources available to eligible Maricopa County residents at www.HSD.maricopa.gov.