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$22 million added to Tucson, Pima County rental assistance program

Pima County and Tucson have an additional $22 million for emergency rental assistance available to tenants facing eviction. The new funding comes from leftover federal dollars that went undistributed by the state, officials said Monday.

County rental assistance had been running low. The city of Tucson and Pima County each received $11 million and applied for additional funds from the Arizona Department of Economic Security. The county expects to see another $6 million, and the city is asking for another $13 million.

The new funding comes at an “opportune time” and will “keep more people in their homes,” Daniel Sullivan, the county's director of Community and Workforce Development, said in a news release. Renters can check their eligibility and apply for the assistance online at TucsonPimaep.com or call 520-447-4423. Landlords can apply on behalf of their tenants.

Pima County and Tucson work together to provide the Eviction Prevention/Rental Assistance and Utility Relief Program, which also provides caseworkers to assist with applications. The program has already delivered more than $50 million in rental assistance and almost $5 million in help with utility payments.

That money helped cover more than 10,000 individual cases.

A strained housing market and rent prices are making it harder for Tucsonans to stay under a roof, Mayor Regina Romero said. She had previously joined 16 other mayors in asking for more rental assistance and expects this latest funding to help renters urgently seeking aid.

“Tucsonans are still feeling the lingering effects of the pandemic on an already strained housing market,” Romero said. “Working families, individuals on fixed incomes and those on the brink of homelessness are facing obscene rent hikes and a statewide housing shortage. These resources will help those urgently trying to get back on their feet.”

Bennito L. Kelty is TucsonSentinel.com’s IDEA reporter, focusing on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access stories, and a Report for America corps member.

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