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Emergency help for renters: How to survive the rent crisis

Posted at 2:00 AM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 09:30:53-04

High rent and tenants with no place to go, no place they can afford is quickly becoming the norm in many Valley cities.

Two years ago, you'd pay an average of $1,247 monthly for a Metro Phoenix apartment.

Last year, statistics from RentCafe show it was $1,477 monthly for the same place.

And it's mostly because of the continued high demand for so few available apartments.

"We're at 97% occupancy in Maricopa County for rental units," says Maxine Becker with the non-profit Wildfire.

Dozens of renters reached out during a Let Joe Know Facebook Live where we looked at the rent crisis here.

Becker joined Kelly McGowan, also with Wildfire and ABC15 Investigator Courtney Holmes who has aired a number of stories related to rent issues.

Overall, the advice was that renters have to think differently than ever before if they want to stay in the Valley.

It's probable that you will face an increase, possibly a huge increase, once your lease is up.

So, renters must think NOW about what will happen then.

Holmes says that could mean considering living with family or friends.

"Maybe you can pool your money together and find a place you can afford together," she says.

Becker says renters should also be communicating with their landlord often.

"Go and ask your landlord to have more time if you need to move out. It's never a bad idea to have a conversation to know what flexibility the landlord may or may not have," she says.

If you're facing an immanent eviction, the City of Phoenix is offering emergency assistance.

If you need this help, call them at 602-262-7935 or go their website.

If you have trouble getting through, the state's Department of Economic Security can also help with that immediate eviction assistance.

Wildfire says it offers another way to help renters save for payments.

"We can help you pay a utility bill or get you enrolled in the SNAP program to get you a monthly allocation to take the grocery store," says McGowan.

Community Legal Services can also help renters who are residents of Phoenix and those with limited incomes.

Also push your legislators to take action.

Some Arizonans believe rent control, limiting what a landlord can charge, is a way to keep rent prices down.

While state laws don't allow cities to implement rent control in most cases, there are two bills pushing to change that.

They are not getting support.


Let your legislator know how you feel about rental issues and tell them about your situation in hopes they will do more.

Click here for contact information for all members of the state house and senate.