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Ducey announces eviction protection for those impacted by COVID-19

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced new steps to help protect families and small business from eviction amid the coronavirus outbreak in the state.

“We know many families and businesses are in need of immediate relief, and with April 1 fast approaching, this agreement will help ensure no Arizonan loses their home or business at the end of the month,” Ducey said in a press release Monday.

Ducey said banks are expediting the application and approval process for small business loans as part of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program Congress signed last week.

Banks are suspending evictions and foreclosures for at least 60 days under the agreement. That period could be extended under the state’s emergency declaration.

“This is a difficult situation for all of us, and the banking sector in this state is committed to doing everything we can to assist Arizonans in this time of need,” Arizona Bankers Association Chairman Jack Barry said in the release.

Additionally, banks are working to deliver small business loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. The program will allow banks to loan up to $10 million to small business and sole proprietors who have been affected by coronavirus.

The federal Small Business Association is still finalizing the details, but Arizona banks expect to begin accepting applications in the next two to three days after the federal guidance is issued.

Borrowers will be continued to meet financial obligations, but the plan is designed to provide flexibility to those facing foreclosure or eviction. Arizonans are encouraged to notify their banks if they’re experience financial hardships due to COVID-19.

This action follows Ducey’s executive order on March 24 to delay evictions for renters impacted by COVID-19.

Ducey also announced Monday an initial $6.7 million in funding to support Arizona food banks, nutrition programs and programs that serve the homeless amid the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier in the day, Ducey and Superintendent Kathy Hoffman announced the decision to keep the state’s public district and charter schools closed for the remainder of the scheduled year.

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