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Supervisors OK pandemic assistance

Pima County continues to expand its financial support to address an overwhelming need for those economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Supervisors, in a 5-0 vote on Aug. 17, approved nearly $5 million in allocations from the federal CARES Act to supplement existing funding for services and agencies through the Community & Workforce Development Department.

The amendments to the 2019-20 Annual Action Plan will help the County better assist low- to moderate-income individuals and families.
Sahuarita Food Bank
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry said during the Board meeting that priorities in determining the allocations were “toward food security and eviction relief, and housing and homelessness.”

For example, the County earmarked $502,420 to the Sahuarita Food Bank through its total of $1,748,099 in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Funds (CDBG-CV). The Pima County Community Action Agency received $472,002 for rental assistance in CDBG-CV funds and $1,079,061 in homeless prevention.

That second funding source came via two rounds of Emergency Solution Grant Coronavirus Funds (ESG-CV). The total ESG-CV funding to six different agencies – including the Community Investment Corporation (CIC) – is $2,284,682.

Pima County has partnered with CIC to lead a partnership of local nonprofit housing providers to serve at least 600 low-income households affected by COVID-19 that are in eviction proceedings. The goal of this $3.625 million program is to fill in past-due rent before Gov. Doug Ducey’s postponement of the enforcement of evictions expires Oct. 31, 2020.

“It’s all hands on deck to get these CARES funds to participating landlords willing to not evict their COVID-19 impacted households, including families with children,” said Daniel Tylutki, the Pima County Community and Workforce Development Deputy Director.

Huckelberry, in an Aug. 24 memo to the Board of Supervisors, called the potential evictions “a looming crisis.”

The Community Action Agency recently hired 25 full-time temporary employees to help process applications for rental assistance made through the Arizona Department of Housing. Pima County has forms/checklists/links/information to help tenants access rental help, avoid eviction and track down other resources, such as utility assistance and legal help, at its webpage, What Tenants Need to Know During COVID-19.
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