The city of Peoria is expanding its utility- and rent-assistance program with a $1.5 million partnership with FSL.
The agreement, approved by consent of the City Council on Tuesday, Sept. 8, calls for $1 million to go toward rent and mortage assistance and another $500,000 toward utility payment assistance.
The program, run through the city's Community Assistance Resource Center, has seen increased demand from residents as businesses were shuttered and workers furloughed or laid off amid COVID-19 closures ordered by Gov. Doug Ducey.
Peoria initially used $1.5 million of $20 million it received as part of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relif and Economic Security Act funds to bolster the assistance program during the summer, according to city documents.
FSL, once known as the Foundation for Senior Living, now will partner with the city for additional assistance that comes as the number of requests have risen dramatically during the past three months, according to city and county data.
The partnership was furthered by a contract through Maricopa County and its Community Action Program. The funds will be dedicated Peoria residents, according to a council report by Chris Hallett, the city's Neighborhood and Human Services director.
Those applying for assitance can receive help for up to three months at a maximum of $500 per month for utilities. The same three-month limit is available for rental or mortgage assistance, with a maximum of up to $1,500 per month.
The funding should be enough to help about 300 households with utilities and 200 households with rent and mortgage, Hallett wrote in the report. The funding will be available as of Sept. 14.