County program provides nearly $1 million in rental assistance in first month

Maricopa County’s new program to help people who are struggling to pay rent has produced promising results during its first month of operation. Since the County COVID Rental Assistance (CCRA) program launched on July 15, more than 300 households have received a combined 662 months (or $993,000) of paid rent.

“There is an incredible need for rent assistance because of the economic downturn due to COVID-19,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4. “That’s why the Board unanimously approved $30 million to fund this program using money from the CARES Act. We don’t want one crisis to lead to another.”

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors approved funding for the new program on June 8. The CCRA service and accompanying automated system were developed, agreements with Community Action Programs (CAPs) were established, staff were recruited, hired, and trained (ongoing), and CCRA launched on July 15.

“Every two weeks my department will post the number of started and completed applications, so everyone has a complete picture of our progress,” said Bruce Liggett, director of Maricopa County Human Services Department, which is administering the program. “We are helping people through the application process, so the money gets to those who truly need it.”

The report is accessible at Maricopa.gov/CovidRentHelp and as of today shows:

  • Prescreen Applications Submitted – 2,388
  • Prescreen Applications Awaiting Documents – 809
  • Deemed Ineligible – 757
  • Complete Applications with Documents – 822
    • Complete Applications Awaiting Disposition – 499
    • Households Approved and Assistance Provided – 323
  • Months Approved and Assistance Provided – 662
  • Total Assistance Provided – $993,000

There are three ways renters can apply for County COVID Rental Assistance:

Applications are being processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The program allows for retroactive payments beginning in March 2020 and funds will be distributed through mid-December 2020 or when rental assistance funds have been fully expended.

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Bill Gates serves as the District 3 Supervisor for Maricopa County. His Maricopa County District 3 reaches from the far southern boundary of McDowell Road, north to the border of Yavapai County, from the eastern boundary of Scottsdale Road in places, to the western boundary of 43rd Avenue and includes the areas of Anthem, New River, and Desert Hills.

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