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Affordable housing crisis leaves thousands on waiting list for rental assistance

Housing crisis leaves thousands on waiting list for rental assistance
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jun 29, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The eviction moratorium has been extended, once again.

This time until July 31, 2021.

As the housing market stands, with the rise in rental costs, the demand for affordable housing isn’t the only thing that’s going up. So, is the waiting list for rental assistance.

“The housing market is incredibly hot right now,” Danny Knee told KGUN 9.

Knee is the Executive Director with Community Investment Corporation, the nonprofit in charge of administering eviction prevention funding for Pima County. He says housing demand is exceeding inventory right now.

“And so that’s why you’re seeing housing prices go up in the ownership market and in the rental market,” he added.

Knee says, since December of 2020, they have received at least 12,000 applications for rental assistance. Roughly 3,000 people are currently on the waiting-list.

“But there is funding to serve those people,” said Knee

He says $15.5M have already gone to rental assistance, and there’s nearly $20M available for current and future applicants on the waiting list.

“It’s just a matter of patience,”

He says patience is an absolute must right now, because it takes about 19 days to vet every applicant, connect them to a case-worker, and get their check cut.

“And it’s typically taking anywhere from six to eight weeks from the point that someone gets on the waiting list until they actually get assigned a case manager. And that obviously means that people needing assistance right now and just start in the process, probably will not even have a case manager by the time the moratorium ends,” Knee told KGUN9.

He says there was an uptick in applicants this month, before the eviction moratorium was extended. Knee expects this to continue to be the case as rent rates go up, but he says there is help-- you just have to be proactive about getting it.

“And there’s actually anticipated to be more money coming through the third stimulus, so again there isn’t an issue with money being available right now, it’s the speed with which we can get it out,” he added.

Below is a list of rental assistance resources:

Participating Organizations:

Additional community resources for further assistance, including legal Aid Resources:

In response to COVID-19, housing assessments are being conducted by phone only at most Access Points. Assessments are currently available at the locations/phone numbers and times lists below.

What to expect when completing a Coordinated Entry assessment by phone:

1) You may be asked to make an appointment for an assessor to give you a call back or forwarded to voicemail. If this happens, try calling another Access Point or wait for a return call from the Access Point with which you left a message. They will return your call within one business day.

2) You may be referred to a different agency or phone number on this list.

3) You will be read a release of information that you normally would sign in person but will be only asked if you agree to it.

4) You will be asked to complete a brief health screening to assess need for isolation as a result of COVID-19.

5) The housing assessment process will take about 30 minutes.

  • Sonora House, 1367 W Miracle Mile (By Phone Only) – 520-624-5518
    • Mon – Fri, 10am – 6pm
  • La FronteraRAPP, 1082 E Ajo Way, Ste. 100 (Phone Preferred) – 520-882-8422
    • Mon – Fri 8am – 4pm
  • Salvation Army (By Phone Only) – 520-622-5411
    • Mon-Sat, 2pm-7pm
  • Primavera, 702 S 6th Ave (In-Person)
    • Mon, Wed, Thur, Fri – 9am-12:30pm
  • Primavera (By Phone) – 520-308-3079
  • Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri – 1pm-4pm, Tues – 8am-4pm
  • Our Family Services, (By Phone Only) – 520-323-1708
    • Mon-Fri, 9am-4pm
  • Old Pueblo Community Services, (By Phone Only) – 520-546-0122
    • Mon-Fri – 9am-4pm