Democratic members of Arizona congressional delegation push for more help for renters
TUCSON, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Members of Arizona's Democratic congressional delegation want Gov. Doug Ducey to do more to ensure people can stay in their homes in the midst of the pandemic.
The CDC's eviction moratorium expires at the end of the month. This could leave tens of thousands of Arizonans facing eviction.
Representatives Raúl Grijalva, Ruben Gallego, Tom O'Halleran, Ann Kirkpatrick, and Greg Stanton set a letter to the governor urging him to do something. They also questioned the state's use of nearly $2-billion in CARES Act funding.
In their letter, the lawmakers write:
“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, 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.”-Letter to Gov. Doug Ducey from Arizona Congressional Democrats
The representatives claim more than a third of calls to the state's coronavirus hotline are urgent requests for help with housing and evictions. They also say 58% of those calls relate to rental assistance.
“We understand the dire need for additional federal assistance for housing issues, 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.”-Letter to Gov. Doug Ducey from Arizona Congressional Democrats
During a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Ducey did not extend the eviction moratorium, nor did he impose any sort of additional restrictions on the state. He said he thought the best way to keep people in their homes was to get them back to work. For that reason he was declining to issue any additional limitations on Arizonans.