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New Financial Help Available for Renters

New Financial Help Available for Renters

TEMPE (March 22, 2021) – More than 1,500 East Valley renters could receive help with paying rent and/or utility bills this year under a new relief package offered by Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA).

TCAA is rolling out a Help With Household Bills campaign benefitting residents of Tempe and Fountain Hills who are struggling financially and at risk of losing their home due to COVID-19 and other factors. Renters and landlords can apply.

Funds are made available to the agency through the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 which authorized financial rent and utility relief for eligible renters and landlords.

For qualifying renters, funds may be applied to previously owed rent or utility bills retroactive to April 2020 and/or towards future rent or utility bills through December 2021 (up to 12 months’ assistance per household). Other eligible expenses include late fees, legal fees and court costs for past-due rent. Once approved for this service, a household can reapply every three months until funds are exhausted or the program expires on December 31, 2021.

Payments are made directly to property owners/managers and utility companies.

“These new resources can make up the difference between families keeping their homes or being out on the street in the coming months,” stated Juliet Armstrong-Starkey, TCAA’s Director of Operations. “The program is specifically designed to prevent homelessness and help people overcome the financial struggles that may have been caused or influenced by the pandemic."

The program helps renters who are at risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to factors such as financial hardship, reduced income, or increased household expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Renters with a household member who qualified for Unemployment Insurance may also apply. Low-income households are prioritized for services.

“Not only are these resources available to individuals and families,” explained Deborah Arteaga, TCAA CEO. “Landlords and property managers may apply directly on behalf of their tenants who have fallen behind on rent.”

A new application process has been implemented to handle what is expected to be a large volume of applications. The application portal is managed by Maricopa County and can be accessed at https://hsdclientportal.maricopa.gov/

Tempe and Fountain Hills residents needing help to complete the online application may contact TCAA at 480-389-1375 during business hours or view more information at www.tempeaction.org/helpwithbills.

For more information visit www.tempeaction.org/helpwithbills.