MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors announced Thursday that it will provide the cities of Glendale and Mesa with nearly $9.2 million to go toward emergency rental assistance programs. The money lasts until the end of the year. Both Mesa and Glendale have already begun using those millions to help prevent qualified residents from being evicted. For both cities, the money came at the perfect time. “Mesa and Glendale have run out of money,” said Mary Brandon, Mesa’s deputy director of community services.
Beginning in 2020, during the pandemic, the federal government approved $52 million in federal aid to help rent in Mesa. But Brandon said the city’s allocation is gone. Now? The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has relocated an additional five and a half million to keep the city afloat through the year. “We know that layoffs and homelessness would be much higher if we hadn’t gotten that help,” Brandon said.
In Mesa, the new funding will help about 500 households cover late rent and utility fees. Preference is given to people who earn 50% or less of the area income or who have received less than six months of previous assistance.
In Glendale, Community Action Program Administrator Ismael Cantu says the nearly $4 million they will receive is helping about 50 homes a week. And that number continues to grow, Cantu says. “We keep coming in with new families who haven’t helped in the past,” he said. “We have a large number of people waiting for help. We are trying our best to reach them.”
But what about Glendale and Mesa homeowners in 2023? Cantu says he doesn’t expect Glendale’s inflation and other cost-of-living increases to change much by then. And Brandon says he has already applied for millions of dollars in additional federal rental assistance for Mesa next year.
For both cities, this rental assistance money, whether from the U.S. Treasury or Maricopa County, is the difference between people keeping their homes or losing them. “It could have been perfect timing,” Cantu said. “It would have been very difficult to have a gap when we have customers who need our help every day.”
“Mesa is very grateful for the opportunity to help them,” added Brandon. Maricopa County residents wondering if they are eligible for rental assistance resources can visit the county’s community services section on their website.
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