Photo by John Moore/Getty Images Maricopa County constable Lenny McCloskey evicts a tenant for non-payment of rent on October 6, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona. Thousands of court-ordered evictions continue nationwide despite a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) moratorium for renters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

Help with rent and utility payments is still available through federal COVID-19 relief programs.

Despite the continued health and financial risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, evictions in Maricopa County were in July at the highest levels they’ve been since October 2008.

Last month was also the second in a row that the court has seen a monthly filing total higher than any seen in 2019 before the pandemic.

Maricopa County had among the highest levels of evictions in the United States before state and federal eviction moratoriums slowed lockouts during the pandemic. Those eviction bans have long since ended.

But there is assistance in place to try to prevent Arizonans from being evicted during this time. If renters find themselves in this situation, the following resources could potentially help buy more time. 

Financial Resources Available

Help with rent and utility payments is still available through federal COVID-19 relief programs.

Tenants can apply for aid through the Arizona Department of Housing. The agency’s website also offers a search function to view all county and city programs. To submit an application, renters will need documentation, including pay stubs and lease agreements in addition to proof  of an emergency (ex. doctor’s note, letter from an employer, etc.). 

The Arizona Housing Coalition has created a list of rental and eviction assistance programs offered by both nonprofits and  government agencies. 

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Besides rental assistance, there is financial help available to alleviate other costs. The Arizona Food Bank Network has a map showing places offering free meals. Arizonans can also check to see if they qualify for unemployment or cash assistance through the state.

The state’s Arizona Together website links to a database of immediate job openings in the state. The site also includes links to applications for food, healthcare, and housing assistance.

Utilities like APS, CenturyLink, Cox, and SRP also offer help for internet, electricity, water, and phone bills. 

Legal Resources

Going through the eviction process can be confusing, but there are free or low-cost resources available to help renters navigate the steps. 

The Arizona Bar Foundation offers explainers for a number of situations involving evictions. The website also provides a checklist of court documents for renters who are still given eviction notices and required to appear in court.  

AZEvictionHelp.com provides information in English and Spanish about navigating the steps of eviction proceedings and how to find assistance. The website also offers a live chat function that connects tenants with a volunteer who can answer questions.

RELATED: The Law is Stacked in Landlords’ Favor. This Pima County Program Helps Balance the Scales. 

Tenants can also call Arizona’s 2-1-1 hotline to find resources that can help with unpaid bills.

Nonprofit law firm Community Legal Services offers educational materials and, in some cases, representation for Arizonans in need. Tenants can apply online or by phone to see if they are eligible.

Renters can also find general information about their rights and responsibilities in the state’s Tenants’ Rights Handbook. It explains what options tenants have in the case of an eviction not related to the pandemic. 

Residents of Pima County can also look for help through the Emergency Eviction Legal Services program, which was created using federal pandemic relief money. The program can help provide legal help, as well as resources for finding new housing and other services.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.