TUCSON, Ariz. — A Pima County Constable says more people are struggling to pay their rent right now, and she’s trying to be proactive to get people the resources they need to stop the eviction process.
We followed Constable Kristen Randall on a visit to a family that just received a five-day notice to vacate their home.
“It’s scary to be in this situation, because the coronavirus put me and my family in a very unstable situation,” said Jarvis Hayes.
Hayes is legally blind. He says his wife was laid off and was never able to get unemployment benefits. Now, they are trying to scrape by on his disability checks.
“It’s hard trying to pay rent, utilities all of it with the little money I'm making and with her being laid off its really tough right now.”
Constable Kristen Randall says there are protections for renters right now, but many are finding themselves in a tough spot with their landlord for the first time.
“These are people who have never really needed assistance,” said Randall. “They don’t know how to navigate the system and they need a little more help trying to fill out the applications. They find themselves in positions they’ve never been in before.”
Randall and her partner are trying to keep this family from going to court and being evicted. They have already submitted the CDC Declaration Form to cancel the court date, but they still needed to fill out an application for rental assistance.
“One of the important things you have to do when you fill out the CDC letter is that you are seeking rental assistance and making partial payments,” said Randall.
Renters and landlords can find the rental assistance form online. Hayes says assistance is something many people need right now.
“This just creeped up on us. We didn’t know it would hit us like this. Right now I'm struggling, my family is struggling, people around the world and the United States are struggling.”