For Rent

With the federal moratorium on evictions no longer in force, Phoenix has spent just over half of its $51.1 million in federal Emergency Rental Assistance Program funds, the city reported last week.

Meanwhile, at least 2,000 households are waiting for their online relief applications to be processed, the same report states.

The program, which covers rent and/or utility assistance, is partially administered by the city and partially by the nonprofit Wildfire, which was authorized by City Council to distribute up to $25 million of the city’s total allocation.

And of that $51.1 million, up to $5 million was set aside for “administrative costs.” 

Although city reports given Council weekly do not break down those expenses, Human Services Department Director Marchelle Franklin told Council in a Feb. 25 memo that the city and Wildfire were finalizing a process “to ensure duplicate services do not occur” when the program launched March 8.

In the latest report to Council, Franklin said that since its launch, the program has helped 3,315 households representing 7,720 residents at a total cost of $23.8 million.

Of that, Wildfire helped 1,413 households, spending $11 million of that $23.8 million total.

Franklin also reported that the city initially thought it had 4,000 unprocessed online applications but later discovered that number “was inaccurate as there were discrepancies with the report calculating the number of applications in the queue that were deemed active.”

It’s unclear how many households

in Phoenix or even the Valley face possible eviction now that the moratorium has expired.

Since June, more people in the U.S. fell behind on rent, leading to an increase in the number of renters at-risk of eviction as the federal moratorium is set to expire on July 31,” Zillow.com reported, stating that while “renter confidence” has grown since the original March expiration date, “the reality of the moratorium ending has become more real to renters over the past month.”

Based on U.S. Census estimates, Zillow said 138,492 renter households in Arizona are currently behind on rent  45,312 more than in June.

“It’s estimated there are 63,537 renter households currently at risk of eviction,” it added, noting that number had nearly doubled since May.

In all, Zillow estimated there would be 10,324 eviction requests filed in courts and that they would result in nearly 4,000 eviction orders.

More than 7.4 million U.S. households are behind on rent, according to Census Household Pulse Survey - about 326,000 more than was reported in June. 

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