State and Federal rules enacted to prevent evictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are set to expire on June 30th.
During the Soar Over the Luncheon virtual event on April 29th, Our Family’s Chief Development Officer Kimberly Moyer discussed the looming eviction crisis with Joan Serviss, Executive Director of the Arizona Housing Coalition. Joan described evictions as a “lose, lose, lose situation,” in which tenets, landlords and the community are all negatively impacted. She went on to say that the eviction crisis has been “ripe for reform before the pandemic and really the pandemic has shown us that there is a lot of work to be done.”
A common misconception is that the state and local eviction moratoriums have stopped evictions. In reality evictions have continued throughout the state and country. What the moratoriums did stop is the enforcement of writs of restitution (the legal document needed to evict) due to non-payment of rent for those impacted by the pandemic.
According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition and the University of Arizona’s Innovation for Justice Program there are at least 210,000 Arizona households at risk of eviction. “When the moratorium is lifted, we at the Arizona Housing Coalition are fearful that we are going to see a significant increase in homelessness.” Joan went on to state that the conservative estimate is that we will see a “16% increase in street living homelessness” on top of the increase that Arizona has already seen pre-pandemic. Combined with the lack of affordable housing and shelter bed availability this is creating the perfect storm conditions for a tsunami of evictions.
How can you help?
At the end of the interview Joan went on to say that “what we at the housing coalition are prioritizing …is to take an active stance at the state legislature. Contact your senator and representative and ask them to do two things” 1. Restore the state housing trust-fund. 2. Advocate for a state low-income tax credit. Our Family has made this call to action easy for our supporters. All you have to do is visit: ourfamilyservices.org/advocate and under Take Action on Housing Funding click the Take Action button. You can watch the full Soar Over the Luncheon recording by visiting Our Family’s YouTube page.
The Arizona Housing Coalition is a statewide organization working to end homelessness and advocating for safe affordable homes for all Arizonans. Our Family Services is a proud member of the coalition.