TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Congressman Raul Grijalva calls on Governor Doug Ducey to release funding to help both renters and landlords struggling to make ends meet.
Daitra Small was on the brink of losing her housing, but she says rental assistance helped her get back on her feet.
“I think I’m going to be okay, yeah,” she told KGUN9.
Small found herself having to choose between paying medical bills and paying rent. She chose her health.
“My housing was jeopardized, at this time,” said Small.
So she got online and applied for help. Now she is getting the help she needs, but small is just one of many who have been affected by the housing crisis.
“Congressman Grijalva has been able to secure about $57 million of rental assistance to this community. That’s unheard of,” said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry.
“The crisis will go away if we can intervene and keep people in their homes,” added Congressman Grijalva.
Grijalva making it clear, Friday morning, that the time to act is now. His message was directed to Governor Doug Ducey.
“When you have $209 million sitting and not being utilized to support families, you've got to release that money. And you know if they don't use the money, it goes to states and communities that aren't using the money, and that would be a huge loss for Arizona and be a huge loss for landlords, and the people that’ll find themselves without a home,” he said.
Andy Flagg with Pima County says many disputes that lead to an eviction court hearing can be solved with one thing:
“The solution for a lot of these landlords and tenants is rental assistance,” said Flagg.
“And for landlords it’s the difference between nonpayment and a payment,” added the Congressman.
While Grijalva thinks the Oct. 3 moratorium extension bought them some time, he says it may not be enough without the Governor’s help.
“Based on the new restrictions that are going to be necessary because of the delta variant and continuing to deal with this pandemic---evictions are going to increase---landlords will not be paid, and a bigger problem will confront this community and Pima County and that is the rise in homelessness, and, and the homelessness among families,” said Congressman Grijalva.