New Year's Eve was supposed to mark the expiration of eviction protections for renters enacted by the Centers for Disease Control. But the newly passed COVID relief bill has given those facing eviction one more month in their homes to allow millions in new rental assistance funds to be distributed.
All states are waiting for the U.S. Department of Treasury to disburse the money, according to Ben Petersen, spokesman for Governor Doug Ducey.
Once it is available municipalities with more than 200,000 residents will be eligible to receive payment directly from the federal government, while the State would be responsible for dividing the remaining funds to smaller cities, towns and counties.
The law gives the Treasury department thirty 30 days from the date of its signing to disburse the money to states. That would make January 26 the latest date that funding could be received.
But with eviction protections ending on January 31 that won't leave much time to get funds to landlords before forced removals care allowed to resume in February.
As ABC15 has previously reported, that getting payment to landlords quickly was an issue for municipalities around the state after receiving the first round of CARES Act rental relief funds.
It took the Arizona Department of Housing nearly nine months to distribute $6.8 million.
The City of Phoenix took about five months to pay out $24 million and it took Maricopa County the same amount of time to pay to distribute $36 million.
With U.S. Census estimates of 190,000 Arizonans behind in rent, agencies could have an even bigger challenge this time around.