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Pima County, City of Tucson rental assistance FAQs

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. 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.

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the Tucson Pima Eviction Prevention Program.

Find the CDC eviction prevention form and other tenant/landlord resources at www.pima.gov/RentHelp.

Program Overview

What is the purpose of this program?

The shared program – a collaboration among Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Community Investment Corporation and local nonprofit agencies -- provides rental and utility assistance to qualifying applicants to prevent housing instability, potential eviction, and financial hardships of tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

What financial assistance is provided?

Program funds may be used to provide up to 15 months of assistance for the following expenses:
  • No more than 12 months of unpaid rent due after March 13, 2020, and three months’ rent in advance.
  • Security deposit and first month’s rent up to 30 days prior to move-in date.
  • Utilities, including: electric, gas, propane, water, etc. (Telecommunication services, such as telephone and cable are NOT eligible for assistance.)
  • Reasonable court and legal fees incurred by landlord in filing for eviction.
  • Other eligible costs as approved by the County.
After the initial three months of forward assistance, you can apply for three additional months of assistance, if funds are still available and the household has not exceeded the $30,000 funding assistance cap.

Can landlords also apply on behalf of their tenants?

Yes. This program allows for both Landlords/Property Managers AND Tenants to begin the application process and requires both parties provide information and documentation. Open communication is highly encouraged between both parties, to expedite the process and recognize that we are all in this together. Landlords/Property Managers are invited to opt-in for regular communications from the program. CLICK HERE to learn more.

Are some cases prioritized?

Cases are prioritized based on requirements tied to these federal funds, including but not limited to households that are currently unemployed or below 50 percent AMI.

Application and Eligibility

How can I apply?

Go to tucsonpimaep.com. Applying through the website is the most efficient method, but those without internet access or smartphones -- or are just having trouble navigating the site -- can call 831-292-4308. All communication and application resources are available in English and Spanish.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Total household income is at or below 80 percent Area Median Income (“AMI”) as established by U.S. Housing & Urban Development Department. SEE PIMA COUNTY AMI CHART BELOW.
  • At least one member of the household is eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits or has experienced a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Tenant 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.
AMI

What is considered a COVID-19 hardship?

Examples of a COVID-related hardship could include:
  • Loss of employment, furlough, or reduction of hours
  • Medical expenses as a result of COVID-19
  • An expected or unplanned cost as a result of COVID-19
  • Needing to care for a family member as a result of COVID-19
  • Needing to care for a child as a result of a school closure.

What documents do I need?

Required documents for tenants include:

1. A photo ID of the primary applicant.

2. Lease or housing agreement that matches the applicant and landlord names.

3. Utility bill for each utility company if applying for utility assistance.

4. Proof of income for all household members, which may include:
  • Most recent 60 calendar days’ worth of paystubs for all members of the household from the date of application
  • Tax documents for calendar year 2020, which may include:
    • 2020 IRS Form 1040
    • 2020 Form 1099
    • 2020 IRS Form W-2
  • Social Security checks, if applicable
  • Current Pension/Retirement Benefit letter, if applicable
  • Unemployment Insurance statements, if applicable
  • Current Annuity Payment letter, if applicable
  • Statements from any other type of ongoing household income aside from SNAP benefits
5. Documentation or written explanation of financial hardship due to COVID-19. Examples of documentation may include:
  • Notice of eviction
  • Past due notice of rent or past due utility bill
  • Shutoff notice from utility company
  • Proof of unsafe living conditions.
Required documents for landlords include:

1. IRS form W-9

2. Landlord/property manager proof of identity

3. Proof of fees (if applicable)

How can I share my documents?

You can take a picture or scan these documents 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. Documents must be formatted as JGP or PDF for most efficient processing. Special Note: Income verification documents must be current at the time the application is submitted for approval.

How do I determine how many individuals are included in my household?

A household is defined as all persons occupying the same housing unit, regardless of age and/or relationship to each other.

What is included when determining my household income?

Countable income for purposes of determining eligibility include:
  • Income from employment, including self-employment (includes wages, salaries, tips, etc.) as evidenced by a 1099 tax form or pay stubs
  • Income from Social Security benefits
  • Income from Unemployment Insurance, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
  • All other consistent income received from other sources
  • All income from all household members (including dependents and students)
NOTE: You do NOT have to count the federal stimulus checks you have received during the pandemic.

Am I eligible if I or a member of my household has previously or is currently receiving other rental or utility assistance?

If you or a member of your household received or is currently receiving benefits from another rental or utility assistance program for the same period and same housing unit as requested in the ERAP application, you will not be eligible for benefits.

Additionally:
  • If the portion of your rent has been adjusted due to a decrease in your household’s income, you may not receive ERAP assistance.
  • If rent or utility costs will be reimbursed by any federal assistance, you may not receive ERAP assistance.
  • If your rent is adjusted according to changes in your household’s income, you may only receive ERAP assistance for the portion of your rent that is not subsidized.
  • Other federally subsidized housing include, but is not limited to:
    • USDA Housing Vouchers Low
    • Income Housing Tax Credit projects below market rate
    • Affordable Housing projects

Is there a U.S. citizenship requirement? Can undocumented residents apply?

Per federal guidelines, documentation of household legal status is not required and there are no restrictions on who can apply as long as they meet income and other economic hardship eligibility requirements.

When is my deadline to apply?

The program is accepting applications and will remain open until all available funds have been committed. The duration of the program will depend on the number of eligible applicants. We recommend you apply as soon as possible.

General Questions

How will I receive the assistance?

The assistance will be paid directly to your landlord or utility provider who will receive either a check or an ACH wire transfer into their bank account.

What if I just need utility assistance?

If you just need utility assistance, you can apply as long as you are a renter. Individuals and families who are in need of only utility assistance can also CLICK HERE to see available resources.

Does this program provide mortgage assistance?

No. This program provides residential rental assistance. Homeowners who are not landlords who are in need of mortgage and/or utility assistance are encouraged to visit the Pima County Community Action Agency.

How much funding is available?

At the start of this program, there was roughly $34 million available between Pima County ($15.1 million) and City of Tucson ($19.1 million) allocations from federal funds passed by Congress. Pima County approved $8 million to be processed through this program and is using case managers at its Community Action Agency to get out the other $7 million. Regardless, it’s all one stop for any County or City resident to apply: tucsonpimaep.com.

Are there any penalties if landlords or tenants submit fraudulent information?

Yes. Falsification of documents or any material falsehoods or omissions in an Application to this program, including knowingly seeking duplicative benefits, is subject to state and federal criminal penalties. Landlords and tenants are particularly put on notice that 18 U.S.C. §1001 provides, among other things, that whoever knowingly and willingly makes or uses a document or writing containing any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States will be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

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