Chandler City Council approved the allocation of $4.1 million in coronavirus relief funding to AZCEND and The Salvation Army Chandler Corps for rent, mortgage and utility assistance as nonprofit leaders and city officials say the existing rental assistance is not sufficient for the amount of residents who are in need.
The funding stems from AZCares dollars allocated to the city from the state to offset costs associated with the coronavirus. Chandler received $29.98 million in May and distributed funds to businesses in the form of business grants, purchases of personal protective equipment, purchased technology for city employees and city services, and allocated funding to the city's nonprofits.
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, millions of renter households across the nation could be at risk of eviction this winter as a result of the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Evictions cause severe harm to the economic, social, mental, and physical well-being of those who experience them, and further strain public health and social service systems," according to the agenda item. "A significant number of renters who are evicted are likely to need costly services including shelter and emergency medical care, and are at higher risk of encountering the child welfare and juvenile delinquency systems. Landlords are also negatively impacted by unpaid rent."
It is estimated that between 211,000 and 274,000 Arizonans will be at risk of eviction as the Federal Eviction Moratorium expires Dec. 30, according to the city.
Between July 1 and Dec. 5, AZCEND and The Salvation Army Chandler Corps have distributed more than $4.2 million, assisting more than 1,400 Chandler households, according to the city. As of Dec. 8, $367,000 was left to assist Chandler households.
"We are all struggling in this," Vice Mayor René Lopez said. "These AZCares funds were set aside for this—to be able to help out these people."