The first step renters should take if they are concerned about paying their rent or facing eviction is to contact their on-site manager or lease agent by phone or email right away to let them know if you may need rental assistance or a payment plan for your next monthly rental payment. Early communication with residents and managers allows for more time to respond and explore all options.
Q. How can I apply for assistance?
A. Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, an online application will be available here: COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance (link is external).
Q. Can an application for assistance be completed using a smartphone?
A. While technically it could, it is recommended that the application be completed using a desktop or laptop computer due to the need to upload a number of supporting documents in the online application.
Q. I do not have a computer on which to apply, can I apply by telephone?
A. Due to long wait times, telephone applications have temporarily been suspended. The Department is working on providing a toll-free number to call to submit an application over the telephone, and will update this FAQ with that information as soon as it is available. Applicants who are able to complete an online application are urged to do so, in order to free up the toll free line for applicants who do not have access to a computer or the internet.
Q. What if I don’t have access to a scanner or fax machine in order to submit the required documents?
A. All Staples locations are offering complimentary faxing and scanning (up to $30 credit) to those affected by COVID-19. You will need to notify the front desk assistance station when you arrive that you are applying for a state assisted program for COVID-19 related issues and they will help you with your scanning and faxing needs.
Office DEPOT/OfficeMax is offering FREE faxing and scanning services in all of their retail stores in the state of Arizona (limits apply). You can print or download coupons (link is external), but coupons are not required. Additional printing services are available through the State of Arizona Printing Contract ADSPO17-155120. For support, email the Print Support Team at CSR06276@OfficeDepot.com.
Q. Who is eligible for Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance?
A. Arizona renter households who have suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19, including job loss, reduction in compensated hours of work, or other loss of income related to COVID-19, and do not have financial resources to cover their rent may be eligible to receive assistance with rent due on a primary residence in Arizona. Eligibility is restricted to households with income levels at 100 percent of the area median income adjusted for household size (see chart here (link is external)) and varies by county. Applicants will be responsible for paying 30% of the total current gross monthly income of the household for rent; households with rent payments that are at or below 30% of their total gross monthly income will not be eligible for assistance.
Q. How much funding is available for this program?
A. The program is launching with an initial budget of $5 million. The budget for the program may be expanded as additional resources are identified.
Q. Do I have to tell my landlord I am applying for assistance?
A. Renters are strongly encouraged to communicate their inability to pay any or all of their rent to their landlord as soon as they know that to be the case. It is in a renter’s best interest to let their landlord know as soon as possible their situation and that they are applying for assistance. Once an application has been submitted the renter will be provided with a letter they can provide to their landlord that verifies an application has been submitted.
Q. How will gross income be calculated?
A. All income received in the month prior by household members who are at least 18 years of age, will be annualized (e.g., $1,000 in gross income would be annualized to $12,000), including any earnings, Unemployment Benefits, and Stimulus Funds you received from the federal government.
Q. My gross income calculation makes me eligible for assistance, but I have savings. Will I be eligible for assistance?
A. Applicants are required to submit bank statements for the most recent two months. Households documented as having adequate resources to pay their rent will not be approved for assistance.
Q. If I currently have no income, can I still apply for assistance if I am unable to contribute 30 percent?
A. Yes. You can still apply for assistance if your income is zero and you are unable to contribute 30 percent.
Q. If I currently have no income but I have cash on hand, can I receive assistance?
A. Applicants that have cash on hand that is equal to or more than three monthly rental payments will not qualify.
Q. How much assistance can a renter be provided?
A. Renter households will be required to contribute 30% of their gross income toward their current rent payment, based on the income for the month prior to the month for which they seek assistance (e.g., March gross income for April rent due.) Rental assistance is capped at $2,000 for any one month. Example: Gross household income for April was $3,360 and rent due April 1 is $1,800. The renter household would be responsible for paying $1,008 (30% of income) directly to the landlord and the assistance program would cover the remaining $792, which would be paid directly to the landlord. Unemployment Benefits and Stimulus funds received from the federal government in the month, as well as any employment income in that month, will be counted when calculating the household’s rent contribution.
Q. My rent is due by the 1st of the month, can assistance be provided to my landlord that fast?
A. Once an application is determined eligible, rental assistance will be provided directly to the landlord to whom it is due as soon as possible. Landlords should generally expect to receive the rent payment from the program sometime during the month it is due, but depending on the date of application, length of time until receipt of funds will vary. If the renter household will be required to pay a portion of the rent based on 30% of their gross income (see above), the renter household should make every effort to provide their portion of the rent by the due date or as soon as possible.
Q. If I am eligible for assistance in April, will the program automatically pay my May rent if I am still unemployed?
A. No. The renter household will be required to contact the Community Action Agency handling their application to provide new documentation on each month’s total gross income and to request further assistance with rent. Due to the volume of requests for assistance anticipated to be received, funding may not be available in subsequent months. If additional resources become available, every effort will be made to make funds available for assistance. Applicants may wish to check the website frequently to see if assistance has once again become available.
Q. Based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-14, Postponement of Eviction Actions, can I just postpone or not pay rent for 120 days?
A. No. According to Executive Order 2020-14 (link is external) an eviction action order (the execution of a writ of restitution) may be delayed due to specific incidences of medical and financial hardship related to COVID-19. This Executive Order does not relieve any renter of their obligation to pay rent. Renters should do everything they can to pay their rent on time so that they are not past due.
Q. I applied to the Arizona Department of Housing for assistance. Why am I being contacted by a Community Action Agency to discuss my application?
A. The Community Action Agencies are contracted with the Arizona Department of Housing to deliver this program.
Q. Am I guaranteed assistance once I apply?
A. Complete applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation will be reviewed for eligibility. Applicants who receive a notice of incomplete application with instructions on missing information must successfully provide all necessary information to move their application forward. Incomplete applications shall be on hold until all information is received. Applicants who fail to provide all required information or are found ineligible based on the program’s requirements will not receive assistance. Applications that could be considered eligible may not receive assistance if funding is no longer available based on demand.
Q. Who do I call if I have questions?
A. Contact the Community Action Agency serving your area.