In addition to the thousands directly impacted by COVID-19, the pandemic has hurled many more out of work and into severe financial hardship.
Through federal funding, the city of Glendale has millions of dollars and multiple programs aimed at providing swift assistance to residents.
“Monthly rental assistance may be available to households who have had a substantial reduction in income due to COVID-19,” according to information on a city website (glendaleaz.com/live/city_services/citizen_assistance_programs/COVID19Programs).
Jean Moreno, Glendale’s interim director of community services, said interest in rent assistance has skyrocketed.
“We had over 700 applicants the first week (of the program); in a normal year, we have 1,700,” she said.
One of the few bright spots about the pandemic: It has made millions of federal assistance dollars available to cities like Glendale.
For the current fiscal year, the city is receiving about $3.5 million in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds.
On March 27, the CARES Act provided additional state and local government funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city will receive an additional $2.2 million in HUD funding.
“While HUD provided administrative waivers to expedite getting these funds into communities, eligible uses of these funds have not changed,” Moreno said.
To get started applying for rent assistance, Glendale residents can go to saveourhomeaz.gov and complete the Program Qualification Self-Assessment. The tool will begin an application that will be sent to the Glendale Community Action Program office to complete the processing.
For questions about the program or help making an application, call 211 Arizona at 1-877-211-8661.
The COVID-19 Rental/Eviction Assistance Program eligibility is based on total gross monthly income, which, when annualized, does not exceed 100% of the area median income, adjusted by household size.
Eligible households will be responsible for paying 30% of total gross monthly income towards rent.
The maximum benefit is $2,000 per month, with payment going directly to the landlord. (Landlords are required to register as a vendor on the city’s website.)
Eligible participants must provide documentation including, but not limited to:
• Proof of financial crisis due to COVID-19.
• Photo identification of applicant.
• Social Security cards for household members seeking benefits.
• Current lease agreement signed by landlord and tenant.
• Most recent bank statements.
• Proof of any money or income for the household from any source in the past 30 days.
Glendale also has mortgage assistance available for those in need.
The Arizona Department of Housing Save Our Home AZ program offers principal reduction assistance, monthly mortgage subsidy assistance and second lien elimination assistance to qualified Arizona homeowners.
For more information, visit housing.az.gov/save-our-home.
Meanwhile, the city is brainstorming how to use nearly $30 million in expected AZCares funding.
“This is an opportunity to help the business community that has been suffering,” Moreno said.
“We don’t have the cash in hand now,” she noted.
Moreno said more options for resident and business assistance would be presented to Glendale City Council at its June 23 meeting. At the same meeting, council is to approve previously allocated funding.
“The COVID hit, and we were notified we would receive additional money,” Moreno said.
The extra CARES funding will expand the city’s capacity for “rapid rehousing” from 20 to 60 families, Moreno said, with families to get housing assistance ranging from one to two years.
The city will now have more than $1 million for an eviction prevention program.
The previously allocated $1.5 million Community Development Block Grant is to be used for utility assistance, business assistance, rental assistance, foreclosure/eviction prevention assistance, homeless assistance and employment programs.
The city is also receiving nearly $600,000 from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, to be used for utility assistance for gas/electric bills.