WASHINGTON—Today, Rep. Grijalva led Reps. Ruben Gallego, Tom O’Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Greg Stanton in a letter to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey demanding answers on what steps the State is taking to ensure that residents can stay in their homes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction moratorium expires at the end of the month. The lawmakers expressed concern that the $1.9 billion Arizona received in CARES Act funds is not being used in an efficient manner to help those facing evictions.
“As you know, the CARES Act (PL.116–136) included a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) for state, local, and tribal governments to help broadly cover expenses incurred due to the public health emergency created by COVID-19,” the lawmakers wrote. “States were given broad discretion for the use of this funding, with Arizona receiving nearly $1.9 billion to provide assistance to keep our constituents safe. We are concerned that despite the evident need for additional housing and rental assistance to stave off economic disaster and unthinkable hardship for families, funding is being diverted to state agencies outside the scope of congressional intent while Arizonans struggle to maintain their homes.”
More than one-third of the calls received to Arizona’s COVID-19 hotline 211 are urgent requests concerning housing and evictions and 58 percent of those calls are related to rental assistance.
“We understand the dire need for additional federal assistance for housing issues,” the lawmakers continued. “However, we must ensure that the funding allocated to Arizona is being used urgently, fairly, effectively, as Congress intended. As you know, our state is experiencing a striking and deadly second wave of COVID-19 cases. It is critical to provide the necessary resources to Arizonans facing housing insecurity during this unprecedented public health crisis. To ensure our communities’ safety, families must remain housed throughout the remainder of this pandemic.”
Click here to read the full letter.