TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Chances are if you were evicted in the last two years in Pima County, you weren't in court for your own hearing.
"In Pima County, in 2019 and 2020, 95% of eviction proceedings went forward without a tenant, meaning no defendant and without anybody as counsel for the tenant."
County Supervisor, Dr. Matt Heinz said that's not justice, not in America.
During a pandemic where thousands are facing eviction, he proposed a plan that would help those very families.
A county-funded program, using federal COVID-relief dollars, $2 million to be specific, will pay for legal counsel for families in their eviction trials at the Justice of the Peace.
"There will be a county employee whose job it is to make to connect the families who are in need of counsel."
Heinz said the program is still being organized, but county employees are working quickly to help families before the month ends.
He said they'll start by searching for families through the Justice of the Peace court records.
"To ask for, get us the names and all of the pertinent contact information that we have."
According to Heinz, the program should launch soon with instructions how families can apply for this legal help.
He did mention families already facing immediate eviction would get priority when the program starts.