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  • What Tenants Need to Know During COVID-19

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    Rental assistance, eviction protection for COVID-impacted tenants

    Pima County, in collaboration with the City of Tucson and the Community Investment Corporation, has opened the next round of federal funding for rental assistance through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) administered by the U.S. Treasury. We recommend that you sign up for rental assistance and get on the waiting list now.

    This program allows for both landlords/property managers AND tenants to begin the application process and requires both parties provide information and documentation. Go to www.pimaep.com.

    Checklist for tenants

    1. Apply for rental assistance.

    2. Complete and sign the CDC declaration form.

    3. Give landlord a copy of CDC form and confirmation you applied for assistance.

    4. Discuss a payment plan with landlord. This form might help.

    5. Always write down your conversation dates and details.
    Once you register, you will get a confirmation email. Make a copy and show your landlord. Everyone on the waiting list will receive updates. Be sure to check your email at least once a week.

    There were more than 4,000 people on the waiting list in mid-March. We expect it will take two to three months to complete the backlog of current cases. Please be patient. Once rent assistance is available, you will be contacted. CHECK YOUR EMAIL.

    The good news is that this program can pay up to 12 months back and three months forward if you qualify. These funds are available to anyone who lives in Pima County.

    Be ready to provide these documents, which will be reviewed to find out if you qualify.
    • State issued ID
    • Current executed lease
    • Income documentation
    • Documentation of COVID impact
    Additional documents might  be needed, but these four will be required. You can take a picture or scan those now so you will have them ready. The application can only be processed once ALL your documents are uploaded, so prepare now and save time.

    Check for rental assistance eligibility

    Eligibility requirements as defined by the federal government:
    • Total renter household income is at/or below eighty-percent (80 percent) Area Median Income (“AMI”) as established by U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department. SEE PIMA COUNTY AMI CHART BELOW.
    • Renter is eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits or has experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Renter has a demonstrated risk of homelessness, housing instability, or is residing in unsafe living conditions.
    • Renter’s household is experiencing a financial crisis due to COVID-19, which may include:
      • Reduction or loss of income
      • Health and safety concerns; or
      • Crisis event that can be supported with documentation connecting it to COVID-19.
      • Lease aligns with assistance requested.
    Applying for the wait list does not guarantee funding. Funding is granted upon completion of all required documentation from both parties and eligibility approval verified by Service Agency Case Managers who will be assigned to each case.

    AMI

    Know about the eviction process

    We strongly recommend that you sign and give your landlord the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) declaration form to protect you from eviction if you have been impacted by COVID-19 (see button above). The eviction moratorium was extended from March 31, 2021, to June 30, 2021.

    Despite the moratorium, your landlord can still take you to court and get an eviction judgment. The moratorium only protects you from being evicted after the judgment. We know this is confusing and stressful, so please take the time to educate yourself about the hearing process. You can find important information on the eviction process here: azevictionhelp.org

    If you are facing an eviction, we encourage you to attend your hearing. You can do this virtually. For details, go to the Pima County Justice Court website.

    Inform the Judge that you have given the CDC declaration form and applied for rent assistance. Be sure to give your documentation to the courts in advance of your hearing.

    What about my pets?

    • What if I am being evicted and can’t keep my pet?
    • How do I find pet-friendly housing?
    • I need help with other resources for my pet. How can I get assistance for pet food/medical care/other supplies/etc.?
    Get answers to these questions and more at our Pet Owner Housing Guide.

    Other rent/utility assistance

    If you need help with non-COVID related assistance, contact the Pima County Community Action Agency at 520-724-2667 for rent, mortgage and utility assistance (Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.). For additional mortgage support and foreclosure assistance, contact the Pima County Housing Center (EL Banco) at 520-724-2460.

    You may also qualify for utility or other assistance at one of these Pima County Emergency Services Network agencies below. Click the link for more details on these and other programs:
    Ajo (Ariz.), ONLY: International Sonoran Desert Alliance, (520) 387-3570 (9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday)

    Legal help

    Facing an eviction case? Know your rights. FREE legal help might be available through Step Up to Justice, a civil legal center for low-income individuals and families in Pima County. Click the links for more information -- English and Spanish -- about the Eviction Prevention Clinic, operated by SU2J in conjunction with the County.

    More resources

  • Arizona Bar Association: RESPOND Legal Hotline, 866-611-6022
  • Snell & Wilmer Coronavirus Legal Aid Clinic, 602-382-6919
  • Southern Arizona Legal Aid (SALA), 520-623-9465

  • USE THIS LINK to upload documents to Justice Court in advance of an eviction hearing.

    Video, Telephonic and Court Appearance Instructions

    AZLawHelp.org: Landlord and Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
    AZLawHelp.org: Understanding the Arizona Residential Landlord And Tenant Act (A.R.S. Title 33 Chapter 10)

    Food

    • To find a food pantry near you: text FOOD or COMIDA to 877877 or visit the Community Food Bank’s website.
    • Meals for children under 18: call AZ Hunger Hotline (602) 528-3434 or (800) 445-1914

    Employment

    • Information on job leads, job training or help navigating unemployment benefits: call the Pima County Dislocated Worker Hotline at (520) 724-5735.
    • Arizona Department of Economic Security: Apply for unemployment insurance

    Housing

    FEB. 16: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an extension of eviction and foreclosure moratoriums on USDA Single Family Housing Direct and Guaranteed loans through June 30, 2021. The actions will bring relief to residents in rural areas who have housing loans through USDA.

    Office Depot, OfficeMax, and Staples are offering free services if you need to copy, scan, or fax documents.

    More resources/information

    ArizonaTogether.org
    Ending Poverty Now
    Pima County COVID-19 Health Information
    Pima County Regional Resources
    The Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness and City of Tucson Housing & Community Development have published an updated Resource Guide for People Experiencing Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    Find information regarding health amid COVID-19, and contacts for:

    • Emergency Shelter
    • Coordinated Entry (Housing Assessment)
    • Day Centers
    • Meals
    • Food Bags and Emergency Food Assistance
    • Medical and Behavioral Health Care
    • Overdose Prevention and Treatment
    • Resources for Military Veterans
    • Domestic Violence Resources
    • Resources for People Living with HIV/AIDS

    Rent Assistance

    You should encourage your tenant to apply for rent assistance. Links are available at the site above. Funds are limited so the sooner, the better.

    If you have property in other parts of the state, you can find links to other rental assistance here: https://housing.az.gov/general-public/rental-assistance-resources-eviction-prevention

    Some Suggestions

    • Open up a dialogue with your tenant. Communicate that you want to work with them, and establish a payment plan.
    • Keep a record of your attempts to communicate with your tenant.
    • Share with your tenants the resources that are available to them
    • More resources are at the Arizona Housing Coalition: Landlord Tool-Kit for Responding to COVID-19 Impacted Tenants

    Mortgage Assistance


    Other Property Owner Resources

    Frequently Asked Questions

    HOW do I prove I applied for rental assistance?

    Apply for rental assistance as soon as possible. The application does not need to be accepted. You must have written proof the application was completed, not just started. If you do not receive a confirming email that your application was completed, reach out to the governmental agency or nonprofit and ask for written confirmation.

    HOW do I prove I attempted to enter a payment plan with the landlord?

    Propose a payment plan that you can afford, in writing, to your landlord as soon as possible. The landlord does not need to accept your proposed plan in order for the delay to be granted. Here is a template for a payment plan.

    CAN the landlord still file for an eviction?

    Yes, the landlord can still go to court and get a judgment against you. Remember, the EO did not stop the eviction process, it only delays the constable or sheriff from removing you from your residence. Providing notice to the landlord/property manager keeps the constable or sheriff from evicting you until August 22. After August 21, you have additional requirements:
    1. Re-notify your landlord of your COVID-19 related hardship and provide any available supporting documentation;
    2. Written proof you completed an application for rental assistance from a city, county or state or nonprofit;
    3. A payment plan, or written proof you asked your landlord for a payment plan.
    The constable or sheriff will request to see all the documentation provided to your landlord. Keep careful records.

    WHAT if I didn’t receive a notice of the hearing?

    You can file a Motion to Reconsider or contact an attorney immediately. You have five days from the day of your hearing to act. See the Legal Resources tab for free legal assistance.

    WHAT is a Motion to Compel and what should I do if my landlord files one

    A motion to compel is a request to Court from the landlord/property manager to compel the constable or sheriff to remove you from your home regardless of your circumstance. If a motion is filed, the court will set a hearing and you will be notified of the court date. It is important that you attend the hearing and show the court your notice to the landlord and all of your documentation concerning your COVID-19 circumstance.
    • You may also want to seek legal advice and/or representation. See the Legal Resources tab for free legal assistance.

    WHAT happens once the judge rules on the Motion to Compel?

    If the judge rules in your favor, you will continue to receive a delay in the enforcement of your eviction. If the judge rules for the landlord, the sheriff or constable can return to your residence within 24-48 hours to lock you out.

    If the judge rules against you, you can file a motion to respond. Complete this form and file it with the court immediately. You may only have 24 to 48 hours to do so. Be sure to include in your statement why you should be able to stay in your home or apartment. Be sure to attach all the related documentation noted at the beginning of this FAQ. You should make every attempt to seek legal advice.

    WHO will request to see the notice?

    If the court, constable, or sheriff requests to see the notice and documentation provided to your landlord, you must show them the notice and documentation. If the constable or sheriff still intends to lock you out of the property, you may want to contact an attorney immediately.

    WHAT am I responsible for if I have a delayed eviction?

    You are still responsible for all monthly payments of rent and late fees. If rent is refused by the landlord/property manager, save it for future payment as long as you remain in the property. Document all of your efforts to pay monthly rent. Remember, you are still obligated to comply with the law and your lease for as long as you and your family reside in the property.

    More FAQs from the Arizona Department of Housing

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