Behind on rent?

Lake Powell Chronicle file photo

Locals can soon apply for pandemic rental and utility assistance

PAGE – The community is suffering, and people are struggling to make ends meet, said Mayor Bill Diak.

“And we have a lot of individuals who are suffering and having problems with making ends meet,” Diak said as he spoke of the effect of COVID-19.

There’s help.

Page economic development coordinator Gregg Martinez said Gov. Doug Ducey authorized millions of dollars for a new emergency rental assistance program.

Martinez said, “There are multiple ways to apply for this.”

Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, renters and landlords can apply for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program using the online ERAP portal at https://des.az.gov/ERAP.

Eligibility is based on the renter’s address and ability to meet the following federal criteria:

The renter has a risk of homelessness, housing instability, or unsafe living conditions demonstrated by the following:

  • Eviction notice
  • Utility shut-off notice
  • Past due rent notice
  • Past-due utility notice
  • Any other evidence of unsafe or unhealthy living conditions or housing instability
  • The renter or member of the renter’s household is eligible for unemployment insurance benefits or has experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The renter’s household income is less than or equal to 80% of the Area Median Income.

Martinez said the Page area median income is approximately $62,000.

Eligible households can get up to $3,500 per month for combined rent and utility assistance.

Arrears balances dating back to March 2020 get priority.

According to the ERAP website, “Applicants unable to apply online may apply by phone using the ERAP hotline once available.”

Martinez said at Wednesday’s Page City Council Meeting, “I have reached out to some of our partners like Catholic Charities and they are willing to put together a resource list for other offerings, whether it’s utility assistance or rental assistance.”

Martinez said he’d also make himself available as a point of contact.

He said, “That’s always the biggest issue. Who’s the point of contact? I’m more than happy to serve as the bridge for any individual who has questions.”

Martinez said, “We’re going to make sure that if anybody’s struggling with rent that they’re going to have someone they can contact.”

Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or by calling Page City Hall (928) 645-8861.

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