Chandler expands rent and utility assistance program amid pandemic

Mar 29, 2021, 4:35 AM | Updated: 5:45 pm
(Facebook photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)
(Facebook photo/City Government of Chandler, Arizona)

PHOENIX — Some households in Chandler may be able to receive up to 15 months of rent and utility assistance due to the expansion of a city program.

Households must have an income at or below 80% of the area median income to qualify, according to a press release.

In addition, one or more people in the home must qualify for unemployment benefits or have experienced reduced income/increased expenses due to COVID-19 and demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability as evidenced by past-due notices.

Those seeking rent or utility assistance can find details on how to apply online, with all applications being submitted through AZCEND’s Community Action Program Office for evaluation. People who have received rental and utility assistance in the past may reapply if additional help is needed.

Funds are intended for people most in need, according to the release, and applications will be prioritized for households living at or below 50% of the area median income or households with a person that has been unemployed for the past 90 days and households living at or below 80% of the area median income.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, city staff and our nonprofit partners have been working nonstop to help provide much-needed financial assistance to Chandler individuals and families in need,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said in the release. “It’s imperative that we exhaust every resource to prevent our most vulnerable residents from being evicted during this difficult time.”

Residents who are concerned they may not qualify for assistance based on income requirements are still encouraged to apply as several additional types of assistance are available.

Those who have trouble contacting AZCEND due to demand can call the City of Chandler Cares Team at 480-782-4302 or send an email to ask questions or start the pre-screening application process.

The assistance program is aided by more than $7 million being awarded to the city from the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the federal government’s Emergency Rental Assistance program, according to the release.

A combined $4.6 million in rent/mortgage assistance and an additional $1.6 million in utility payments have been distributed to more than 2,100 city households during the pandemic by Chandler’s nonprofit partners, AZCEND and the Salvation Army Chandler Corps, according to the release.

An additional $56,000 has been given toward payment of residential water utility bills that brought relief to more than 200 customers.

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Chandler expands rent and utility assistance program amid pandemic