“It is so important to spread the word about this resource and make sure our community knows about the federal assistance funds available... There is still help out there if you are facing major deficit from COVID-19.”
SRP Gives Support to AZ Eviction Help and Encourages Those in Need to Visit New Website
Arizona resource points community members to ERA funds available in their areas
SRP is contributing $25,000 to the Arizona Rental Assistance Collaborative to assist in the creation of the AZ Eviction Help website, azevictionhelp.org, which shares information on financial assistance available to struggling individuals and families who rent. The AZ Eviction Help website is a valuable resource outlining where renters can find help, in both English and Spanish, and the tool is also used by community partners such as AZ211 and Wildfire.
Federal funding has been available throughout the pandemic and Arizona received $492 million in the newest renter aid assistance, Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), which became available in mid-March. There is no cap on the dollar amount of ERA assistance and proof of citizenship is not a requirement to receive ERA funds. Qualifying households experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 may be eligible for ERA and may receive up to 15 months of rental and utility assistance payments for past due, owed or future months. Utility assistance is available for electric, gas, water, sewer and trash utilities.
To qualify for assistance, households must be living at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income; and in risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and household meets one of the following: since March 13, 2020, a household member has qualified for Unemployment Insurance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, or household has experienced financial hardship, reduced income, or increased expenses due to COVID-19 pandemic. Maricopa County area median income for family of three is $56,900.
“It is so important to spread the word about this resource and make sure our community knows about the federal assistance funds available,” said Jim Pratt, Chief Customer Executive at SRP. “We have customers who are chipping away at big sums of debt on rent and utilities. They may not know these funds exist and how to access them. This website is a user-friendly, centralized solution pointing to all the agencies with financial assistance across the Valley. There is still help out there if you are facing major deficit from COVID-19.”
The AZ Eviction Help website links community members to the available ERA assistance program through community action agencies and cities including Glendale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, unincorporated areas and additional cities in Maricopa County and the Arizona Department of Economic Security which serves all other counties in Arizona.
“SRP customers are also still encouraged to call SRP Customer Service if they don’t know how or where to begin the process of finding financial assistance,” said Pratt. “We partner with Wildfire and all Valley community action agencies, and our customer service representatives can advise on how to begin reaching out for help.”
The SRP Customer Service Center can be reached at 602.236-8888 or 602.236.1111 for Spanish. Many cities and agencies with ERA funds have online portals as a way for community members to apply for ERA instead of in-person appointments, though this varies by area. Arizona ERA funds are available until December 31, 2021 or until they are expended. Many households have been financially impacted by the COVID19 Pandemic. Consequently, local agencies expect to see high volume applications for this program. Applicants will be assisted on a first-come, first-served basis.
“SRP customers are also still encouraged to call SRP Customer Service if they don’t know how or where to begin the process of finding financial assistance."
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SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.