County, city rental assistance programs moving faster than State's

Rental apartment, rent
Posted at 9:21 PM, Aug 19, 2020

Rental assistance dollars from the federal CARES Act are finally starting to flow to people who are months behind in rent.

In an update on Wednesday, Maricopa County Human Services said nearly $1 million had been paid out to 323 households in the first month of its rental assistance program. The county began accepting applications July 15.

In nearly the same time frame the City of Phoenix program has released $2,496,300 to 766 households. That program started accepting applications on July 10.

Both the city and the county programs are paying out more quickly than the Arizona Department of Housing program, which started accepting applications on March 30.

As of August 17, that program had dispersed $2,187,212.34 to 1495 households. Landlords and housing advocates criticized that program as requiring too much documentation, slowing down the process.

Director of Maricopa County Human Services, Bruce Liggett said at Wednesday's press conference that the state turned over 3,700 of those applications to the them.

"The state is allowing us to use the county eligibility now so that process will be streamlined. That was greatly appreciated so applications for assistance are first come first serve basis," he said.