Emergency Rental Assistance
Maricopa County households experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) through the Human Services Department’s Community Services Division.
Federal law prohibits Maricopa County from considering citizenship or immigration status for Emergency Rental Assistance awards and from requiring a Social Security Number. Federal courts have held that crisis funds are an enumerated exception to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (“PRA”) of 1996 restrictions on non-citizens accessing public benefits.
Qualified households can receive up to six (6) months of payments for the following:
- Rental assistance
- Utility assistance for electric, gas, water, sewer, and/or trash
Payments can be made for past due, owed, and/or future rental and utility bills based on funding availability and payment history.
Clients who have received six (6) or more months of assistance in the past will have the opportunity to engage in support services provided by Maricopa County's Human Services Department Community Services Division, but will not be eligible for additional ongoing ERA payments.
The funds are intended for those most in need. According to federal guidelines, applications for assistance will be prioritized using the following criteria:
- Households living at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
- Households with one or more members that have been unemployed for the past 90 days at time of application and living at or below 80% AMI
Additionally, applications will be prioritized based on the following system:
- 0 = No identified impact based on applicant's response
- 1 = Low level of impact based on applicant's response
- 2 = High priority as client has indicated they have been impacted and meet the eligibility guidelines
- 3 = Repeat applicants that have previously received ERA assistance and may be eligible for further assistance — if the six (6) month cap has not been met.
The Maricopa County Human Services Department's service area for rental assistance includes eligible residents living within Maricopa County in cities, towns, county islands, and unincorporated areas - except for people who live within the city limits of Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix. Those cities have their own programs for their residents - see below.
To qualify for assistance, the following criteria must be met:
- Household lives in Maricopa County, but not in the cities of Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix; and
- Since March 13 2020, a household member has qualified for Unemployment Insurance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) OR the household is experiencing financial hardship; and
- Household demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Household is living at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
|Household Size||50% Area Median Income||80% Area Median Income|
Note: Proof of citizenship or immigration status and Social Security Number are not required in the Emergency Rental Assistance program and households do not need to provide documentation for either. However, if you are interested in other Human Services Department programs, additional documentation including Social Security cards or proof of citizenship or immigration status may be required.
To help establish eligibility, please collect the following documentation. You will need to submit these documents in order to receive assistance.
Required Tenant Information
One of the following:
- Documentation demonstrating financial hardship
- Documentation demonstrating a household member was determined eligible for Unemployment Insurance from the Arizona Department of Economic Security (Eligibility period: March 30, 2020 – Present)
- Photo identification of applicant
- Lease agreement
- Documentation of total household income received in the 60 days prior to and including application date
- Documentation demonstrating risk of homelessness or housing instability by collecting one of the following:
- Past due rent notice
- Past due utility bill
- Eviction notice
- Utility shut off notice
- Writ of restitution
- Judgment related to eviction
- Show less than 7 days of pre-paid utility remaining on pre-paid account
Required for utility assistance:
- Most recent utility bill for each utility seeking assistance for
- Release of Information Form
Required Landlord Forms
In order to receive Emergency Rental Assistance, your landlord must complete a Landlord Verification Form. Additionally, your landlord must either:
- Register as a Maricopa County vendor and provide their Vendor Code in the Landlord Verification Form
- Complete the W-9 Form
You will submit these forms as part of your application. To download a copy of each form, click on the links below.
Please note that additional documentation may be requested by the Human Services Department or your local CAP office as you may qualify for other services.
To apply for ERA, you have the option to complete either an online application or submit a paper application to your local CAP office.
Option 1 (Online):
To complete on online application, click on the button below. This will direct you to the Human Services Department’s Client Portal.
- Once you reach the Client Portal’s homepage, click on the “Start the Application Process” button.
- You will be directed to the Application Prescreen, which is the first step of the application process. The Application Prescreen will help residents determine if they meet basic eligibility requirements for all available rent and utility assistance.
- Residents that meet basic eligibility criteria will then be invited to create a Client Portal account and complete an online application, which includes submitting all required documentation.
Option 2 (In Person):
If you would like to submit an application through your local CAP office, please download the Client Paper Application by clicking on the button below. Please submit the paper application and required documentation to your local CAP office.
Please note that for the Client Paper Application:
- If you have more than two household members, you will need to complete a Household Member Form for each additional household member; and
- If you are seeking assistance with more than one utility, you will need to complete a Utility Assistance Form for each additional utility.
Application and Forms:
ERA allows a landlord to apply for rent and/or utility assistance on behalf of the tenant. The landlord must provide all required eligibility documentation for the tenant household.
On behalf of the tenant, the landlord must complete and/or provide the following documentation:
- Client Paper Application
- Landlord Application
- Landlord Verification Form
- W9 Form PDF PDF
- All other required documentation including tenant income documents (see step 2)
Threshold: Property Owner/Manager Incentive Program
Maricopa County has a new program that provides incentives to property owners and property manager called Threshold. The goal of the program is to expand rental options for people exiting homelessness by partnering with property owners and managers. Joining Threshold means joining a centralized network of like-minded property owners and managers who have committed to providing safe and affordable rental options to help people transition from homelessness to housing. Through the Threshold program, participating property owners and managers will receive technical support, financial incentives, rent, and other guarantees that eliminate financial risks for renting to individuals and families that are reestablishing their income sources and rental history as they exit homelessness. Learn more about Maricopa County’s Human Services Department and HOM, Inc. through the Maricopa County’s news release and at ThresholdAZ.com. For more information visit Maricopa.gov/Landlord.