How much has your rent gone up? It’s a conversation happening around the dinner table for many families here in the Valley. As the fastest growing County in the United States, not only is the population rapidly rising in Maricopa County but so is rent.
Rapidly rising rent is what leads up to Marjorie, a client of the Senior and Adult Services Division. Marjorie was struggling to make ends meet each month because her rent cost along consumed a whopping 70% of her social security income.
A popular budgeting method called the “30% Rule” suggests spending a maximum of 30% of your monthly income on rent to ensure that you have enough money left over, about 70%, for living expenses. In Marjorie’s case- this equation was flipped. She was spending more than double the amount of her income on rent alone.
This is where Carrie Cantrill, Marjorie’s Case Manager, and Paul Saunders, Intensive Case Manager stepped in. Paul helped Marjorie through the lengthy application process for a Tenant-Based Rental Assistance voucher through the Housing Authority of Maricopa County.
Their efforts literally paid off. Marjorie was able to receive the voucher making her out-of-pocket monthly rent costs a much more affordable percentage of her monthly income. As a result of this effort from her case managers, Marjorie is now able to remain in her apartment - where she has resided for the past seven years. The worry about how to cover bills and where she would go if she did have to move has been replaced with a sense of relief.
Not only is Marjorie’s case a success story for her, but it is also a success story for the Human Services Department. The Intensive Case Manager role is a fairly new position created to help provide dedicated support for clients who have complex issues to solve- such as complying with a lengthy housing eligibility process. This frees up the Case Manager to move on to serve his or her clients while also giving dedicated attention to solving more complex issues. In this case, Paul worked diligently with the client Marjorie, the Case Manager Carrie, the Housing Authority, and the landlord from the beginning of the application in January through it's successful completion in late March.
Marjorie was the first client to receive the voucher and to secure housing using this new staffing model. This innovative collaboration in support of clients is just one of the many ways that the Senior and Adult Services Division of the Maricopa County Human Services Department is making a meaningful difference in the lives of county residents.
For more information on the programs and services available to seniors and adults with disabilities, visit Maricopa.gov/SASD.