The first step renters should take if they are concerned about paying their rent or facing eviction is to contact their on-site manager or lease agent by phone or email right away to let them know if you may need rental assistance or a payment plan for your next monthly rental payment. Early communication with residents and managers allows for more time to respond and explore all options. Community Legal Services provides tips for tenants affected by COVID-19 and sample forms in both English and Spanish on their website.
COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance
Income Eligibility Chart
Returning Applicant Log-In
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q. How can I apply for assistance?
A. Beginning Monday, March 30, 2020, an online application will be available here: COVID-19 Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance.
- Q. I do not have a computer on which to apply, can I apply by telephone?
A. If you are unable to apply online, call the toll free 211 line for assistance in completing your application during regular business hours Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
1. Dial 211
2. Press 6 for COVID-19
3. Pick a language, press 1 or 2
4. Press 5 for Eviction Prevention
- Q. What supporting documentation will I need to provide when submitting the application for Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance?
A. The following supporting documentation is required to be submitted electronically.
1. Copy of your current lease/rental agreement
2. Paystubs or other documentation of monthly income pre-COVID 19 for all adult household members named on the lease
3. Paystubs or other documentation of current monthly income for all adult household members named on the lease (if any)
4. Letter explaining how loss of income is related to COVID-19 (e.g., copy of layoff letter from employer(s), a statement of explanation, etc.)
5. Copy of monthly bank statement for the most recent month for all adult household members named on the lease
6. Copy of Driver’s License or State Issued ID for all adult household members named on the lease
Applications or reapplications cannot be submitted to the system without the required supporting documentation listed above. If you are unable to provide any of the above documentation, would like to explain any unique circumstances or possibly request a waiver, please upload a short letter under “Other” describing your situation or why you are unable to provide the information so the housing counselor has the information needed to process your application.
- Q. What if I don't have access to a scanner or fax machine in order to submit the required documents?
A. Office DEPOT/OfficeMax is offering FREE faxing and scanning services in all of their retail stores in the state of Arizona (limits apply). You can print or download coupons(link is external), but coupons are not required. Additional printing services are available through the State of Arizona Printing Contract ADSPO17-155120. For support, email the Print Support Team at [email protected].
Some Staples locations may offer complimentary faxing and scanning services for COVID-19 related issues. Inform the front desk assistance station staff or manager that you are applying for a state assisted program and ask if their location offers complimentary faxing and scanning services.
You may also upload documents using a smartphone by taking a picture of the document and uploading the picture into the application system. All of the information on the picture must be legible. While it is recommended that you scan or fax your documents, photos that are clear and easily readable will be accepted.
- Q. What can I do while I wait to hear from the Community Action Agency?
A. Log into your application and check to make sure the documents you uploaded satisfy the assistance eligibility requirements (see FAQ #3). If you discover something is missing, upload it as soon as possible and then wait to hear from the Community Action Agency (CAA). Ensuring you’ve uploaded the required documents will help move your application along. It is also recommended that you check your email inbox frequently, including the spam folder, to make sure you are seeing, and responding to, any communications that may have been sent by the Community Action Agency handling your application, as well as email blasts from the Arizona Department of Housing.
Applicants have the ability to log in to the system at any time to check on the status of their application. The following are application status and explanation:
1. Draft – the case has not been submitted and the applicant is still in control of the case.
2. Counselor Review – the case has been submitted and the CAA is in control of the case.
3. Approved & Eligible – the case has been determined approved for assistance by the CAA.
4. Approved & Closed – the case assistance has been sent to the landlord.
- Q. When do I contact the Community Action Agency serving my area?
A. Please wait for the agency to contact you directly. Due to the high volume of applications in some areas, your wait time may be longer than expected. Rest assured, however, that your application will be reviewed. Community Action Agency staff are working diligently to review each application as soon as possible, generally in the order they were submitted. The Community Action Agency will contact each applicant as they review their application to seek clarifications and request missing information. It is imperative that once applicants receive a communication from a Community Action Agency, that they respond as soon as possible. Community Action Agencies will generally provide a 72-hour window for applicants to provide information missing from their applications. Contacting the Community Action Agencies by phone prior to the review of your application may actually delay the process.
- Q. How do I know if my application actually was submitted and is in line for review?
A. If you believe you may have submitted your application but are unsure, you can return to the system to review the status of your application. From the Arizona Department of Housing's home page, click on Returning Applicant Login, you will then be prompted for the username and password you set up when you first began your application. If, when you sign in, it states that the application is in draft form, your application has not been submitted. If the status shows "Counselor Review" your application has been submitted for review. Once an application is submitted you should receive a message stating it has been submitted.
- Q. I was instructed to fax in my documents. How do I know they were received?
A. Staff will upload your faxed documents into the application system on your behalf. To confirm your documents have been received, log in to the application system as a returning user, click on the Documents link and then look for the wording: If you have access to a scanner, you can also upload the files by clicking here. Click on the "here" link which will display the documents below. You can look for your faxed documents in the section marked “other”. We recommend you wait 48 hours to allow time for your documents to be uploaded for you.
- Q. If I was determined to be ineligible for assistance, can I apply again?
A. Yes. You can create a subsequent application request for assistance which will restart the process for you. A change in circumstance or documentation may result in a change in your eligibility. If a previous application was determined ineligible due to misrepresentation of eligibility, you would not be eligible to reapply.
- Q. Who is eligible for Rental Eviction Prevention Assistance?
A. Arizona renter households who have suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from COVID-19, including job loss, reduction in compensated hours of work, or other loss of income related to COVID-19, and do not have financial resources to cover their rent may be eligible to receive assistance with rent due on a primary residence in Arizona. Eligibility is restricted to households with income levels at 100 percent of the area median income adjusted for household size (see chart here) and varies by county. Applicants will be responsible for paying 30% of the total current gross monthly income of the household for rent; households with rent payments that are at or below 30% of their total gross monthly income will not be eligible for assistance.
- Q. Am I guaranteed assistance once I apply?
A. Complete applications are reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Only fully completed applications that provide all required documentation will be reviewed for eligibility. Applicants who receive a notice of incomplete application with instructions on missing information must successfully provide all necessary information to move their application forward. Incomplete applications shall be on hold until all information is received. Applicants who fail to provide all required information or are found ineligible based on the program’s requirements will not receive assistance. Applications that could be considered eligible may not receive assistance if funding is no longer available based on demand.
- Q. How will gross income be calculated?
A. All income received in the month prior by household members named on the lease will be annualized (e.g., $1,000 in gross income would be annualized to $12,000), including any earnings, Unemployment Benefits, and Stimulus Funds you received from the federal government.
- Q. My gross income calculation makes me eligible for assistance, but I have savings. Will I be eligible for assistance?
A. Applicants are required to submit bank statements for the most recent month for all adult household members named on the lease. Households documented as having adequate resources to pay their rent will not be approved for assistance.
- Q. If I currently have no income, can I still apply for assistance if I am unable to contribute 30 percent?
A. Yes. You can still apply for assistance if your income is zero and you are unable to contribute 30 percent.
- Q. If I currently have no income but I have cash on hand, can I receive assistance?
A. Lease holders that have cash on hand that is equal to or more than three monthly rental payments will not qualify.
- Q. How much assistance can a renter be provided?
A. Renter households will be required to contribute 30% of their gross income toward their current rent payment, based on the monthly income for all adult household members named on the lease for the month prior to the month for which they seek assistance (e.g., March gross income for April rent due.) Rental assistance is capped at $2,000 for any one month. Example: Gross household income for April was $3,360 and rent due April 1 is $1,800. The renter household would be responsible for paying $1,008 (30% of income) directly to the landlord and the assistance program would cover the remaining $792, which would be paid directly to the landlord. Unemployment Benefits and Stimulus funds received from the federal government in the month, as well as any employment income in that month, will be counted when calculating the household’s rent contribution.
- Q. My rent is due by the 1st of the month, can assistance be provided to my landlord that fast?
A. Once an application is determined eligible, rental assistance will be provided directly to the landlord to whom it is due as soon as possible. Landlords should generally expect to receive the rent payment from the program sometime during the month it is due, but depending on the date of application, length of time until receipt of funds will vary. If the renter household will be required to pay a portion of the rent based on 30% of their gross income (see above), the renter household should make every effort to provide their portion of the rent by the due date or as soon as possible.
- Q. If I am eligible for assistance in April, will the program automatically pay my May rent if I am still unemployed?
A. No. The renter household will be required to contact the Community Action Agency handling their application to provide new documentation on each month’s total gross income and to request further assistance with rent. Due to the volume of requests for assistance anticipated to be received, funding may not be available in subsequent months. If additional resources become available, every effort will be made to make funds available for assistance. Applicants may wish to check the website frequently to see if assistance has once again become available.
- Q. I applied to the Arizona Department of Housing for assistance. Why am I being contacted by a Community Action Agency to discuss my application?
A. The Community Action Agencies are contracted with the Arizona Department of Housing to deliver this program.
- Q. Based on the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-14, Postponement of Eviction Actions, can I just postpone or not pay rent for 120 days?
A. No. According to Executive Order 2020-14 an eviction action order (the execution of a writ of restitution) may be delayed due to specific incidences of medical and financial hardship related to COVID-19. This Executive Order does not relieve any renter of their obligation to pay rent. Renters should do everything they can to pay their rent on time so that they are not past due.
- Q. Do I have to tell my landlord I am applying for assistance?
A. Renters are strongly encouraged to communicate their inability to pay any or all of their rent to their landlord as soon as they know that to be the case. It is in a renter’s best interest to let their landlord know as soon as possible their situation and that they are applying for assistance. Once an application has been submitted the renter will be provided with a letter they can provide to their landlord that verifies an application has been submitted.
- Q. Can an application for assistance be completed using a smartphone?
A. While technically it could, it is recommended that the application be completed using a desktop or laptop computer due to the need to upload a number of supporting documents in the online application.
- Q. How much funding is available for this program?
A. The program is launching with an initial budget of $5 million. The budget for the program may be expanded as additional resources are identified.