CHANDLER, AZ — On Monday of this week, the City of Chandler began disbursing funds to residents who have been affected by the pandemic and are struggling to pay rent and utilities.
“Our intention is to cut off zero water bills and to have nobody evicted,” said Riann Balch, the Community Resources Manager for the City of Chandler.
The program, launched on Monday, is called “ERAP” and stands for Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Chandler received $7.9 million from the Treasury Department for this specific subsidy.
“Yesterday we spent over $60,000 in rent in one day and over $2,200 in utility assistance,” said Balch.
The help comes just before the eviction moratorium, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is set to expire at the end of March.
The ERAP program, adds Balch, is able to provide backed rent payments to those who have fallen behind and pay three months ahead so that those who are trying to get back on their feet are able to do so.
“So our goal is to make sure that we are not only catching you up but we are giving you another cushion to regain stability and give you enough time to find a job and stabilize,” adds Balch.
As far as utilities are concerned, the $7.9 million is able to help with water, electricity, and gas. Right now, the city is out $1.5 million in outstanding payments from service accounts that haven’t been paid by residents. The city says they will begin to send out cut-off notices on April 15 and that water will be shut off on May 2 for those who have failed to pay.
"Once the moratorium expires then landlords will start eviction processes, and we are gonna have a flood of applications and we can only get to those so fast so the sooner you come in the better you can always apply for more assistance,” adds Balch.
You can call the City of Chandler at 480-782-4302 or 480-963-1423, or you can also log onto the city’s liaison for rent assistance and fill out an application online.