Phoenix Emergency Rental Assistance Program Gets Overtime, More Employees

The City of Phoenix is ​​making changes to its rent assistance program to speed up the process and help get that money to those who need it.

Since March, they have helped nearly 5,000 households and they hope to help more as soon as possible.

The pandemic has been difficult for many residents of Phoenix, with thousands fearing eviction if help does not arrive quickly enough.

To help speed up PLAR funding for those in need, the City of Phoenix Family Service Center is now open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Every week, customers can access our services by calling us, and now with our extended hours of operation, this will allow residents of the City of Phoenix to have more opportunities to obtain these services,” said Frank Berry, Jr., a records supervisor. .

With the extra hours and days per week, the city began hiring 50 additional positions in August to help with the program.

“To try to allow residents to have more appointments available so they can spend the funds.”

So far, the city has disbursed more than $ 37 million of the $ 51 million allocated in March of this year.

An average of $ 2 million per week is distributed as part of the program, which is an increase from $ 1 million per week in April and May.

Berry says those who may be eligible are those who have been affected by COVID-19.

“If they are unemployed, maybe if they lost their jobs because of the school closings and the parents were not able to work. That’s when they call. and that a case worker will meet with them to assess the situation and see if they are eligible. So they will find out fairly quickly, usually at the time of the appointment. “

The ERA program is available to renters regardless of their citizenship or immigrant status.

“That’s what we’re here for and what the funds are for to help people. It’s really gratifying to be able to help people who have been affected by COVID-19.

The new changes will be in effect for at least one year. To find out if you are eligible for funding, go to the city website.

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