More than 1,600 households in Tempe and Fountain Hills could receive rent, mortgage or utility relief under a new program launched by Tempe Community Action Agency last month. More than $3 million is available to assist families with rent, mortgage and utilities for households significantly impacted by the COVID-19 health crisis.
Each qualifying household can receive up to $4,500 in rent/mortgage assistance to prevent eviction or foreclosure and help families remain safely housed. Payments are made directly to property owners/managers and mortgage companies. Additional funds are available for utility assistance for low-income households or others affected by the pandemic. These housing relief funds are designed to help fill the gap during the hard-hitting months when many residents experienced job loss or reduction in work hours and pay, making it difficult to pay housing costs.
“This exciting new program will help ensure households who got behind on rent and mortgage payments can now catch up and avoid a possible eviction or foreclosure,” stated Juliet ArmstrongStarkey, TCAA’s Director of Operations.
To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that they were financially impacted by COVID-19 and meet other income guidelines. With Maricopa County, State, and Federal COVID-19 relief funds, the new program offers relief for single adults, seniors, and families hurt by the financial and health consequences of the pandemic. This includes low and moderate-income households who have lost work, fallen ill or had to assist sick family members during the crisis.
“Our effort aims to address the economic fallout from the outbreak, which has led to job loss, reduction in work hours, and/or illness among thousands of households in our service area, Deborah Arteaga, TCAA Executive Director said in a statement. “Many of these households were struggling prior to the pandemic, and are really panicked now, facing the real possibility of homelessness through unintended eviction or foreclosure.”
The application process has been simplified to ensure funds are expended for eligible households by December 30, 2020. Interested persons can begin the application process by contacting TCAA at480-389-1375 during business hours, and download/complete an application found at www.tempeaction.org/programs. Funds are limited, so applications are prioritized for eligible households with the greatest need. For more information, visit www.tempeaction.org.
About Tempe Community Action Agency:
Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA)’s mission is to foster dignity and self-reliance in the economically vulnerable within the communities we serve. We help those who are struggling to obtain adequate food, shelter and income support, as well as seniors and disabled adults working to attain their highest level of independence. Acting with financial support from the community we serve, TCAA operates a food pantry, Senior Independence Program, the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Shelter (I-HELP), Oasis Drop-In Center, Community Action Program, healthy families programming, two community gardens, a Financial Opportunity CenterTM, and other projects and programs that serve residents seeking to improve their quality of life. For more information, please visit tempeaction.org. TCAA is located at 2146 E. Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281.