Residents facing eviction in Glendale and Mesa can once again apply for financial assistance for rent and utilities.
A vote by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will allow the county to immediately provide $9.193 million in funding to the cities of Glendale and Mesa to replenish their Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs.
“Maricopa County has provided nearly $100 million in direct rent and utility assistance to residents over the past two years, and we are happy now to support a couple of our largest cities in extending their ERA programs,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3, shared in a news release.
The cities’ ERA programs had recently paused taking applications because the available funding provided through the federal American Rescue Plan Act was depleted. Knowing that the residents in those communities continued to demonstrate an ongoing need for financial support to avoid evictions and utility shut-offs, Maricopa County put together a plan to reallocate $3.693 million to the city of Glendale and $5.5 million to the city of Mesa.
“With the rising cost of housing, gas, and other essentials, even full-time workers are finding it hard to make ends meet,” Vice Chairman Clint Hickman, District 4, shared.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury launched the $25 billion ERA program in January 2021, to provide funds to states, U.S. territories, and local governments with more than 200,000 residents. Since that time, Maricopa County formed a regional partnership with local jurisdictions that received ERA money to share best practices in program and service delivery.
By April of this year, the regional partnership of cities, towns and Maricopa County had collectively distributed $200 million in assistance to more than 28,000 households to prevent evictions and utility shut-offs.
“Inflation is driving up the cost of living all over my district. Governments can and should work together to provide relief,” Supervisor Thomas Galvin, District 2, stated.
As of October, Maricopa County has paid a total of more than $105 million on behalf of its residents. More than $93 million in payments have been made for rent with more than $12 million in payments made for utilities. The average amount per client for rent payment is $9,554 and the average utility payment per claim is $1,371.
Maricopa County has assisted more than 10,480 households since the start of 2021 through its ERA program. The county has also established a $2.6 million legal fund to help renters facing eviction receive no-cost legal advice and representation during court proceedings.
ERA is one of many programs Maricopa County has prioritized through $200 million in investments to help residents recover from the effects of the pandemic.