Arizona court backs eviction ban for people hurt in pandemic
PHOENIX (AP) - An Arizona judge has upheld Gov. Doug Ducey’s moratorium on the evictions of people who have had trouble paying their rent after becoming ill or losing work because of the coronavirus.
The Maricopa County Superior Court judge disagreed on July 22 with a property management company’s argument that the governor’s action exceeded his authority or was unconstitutional.
Gregory Real Estate Management sued Ducey this month, asking the court to allow it to evict a family from a rental home in Surprise over unpaid rent, which the firm says has now reached $8,000. A legal representative for the firm did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.
Ducey recently extended the moratorium until Oct. 31. Initially scheduled to expire July 22, the ban is supposed to ensure people won’t lose their homes if they get COVID-19 or lose their jobs during pandemic restrictions. Housing advocates say it’s too early to end the ban because most of the government money set aside to help pay rents and mortgages still hasn’t been doled out.
States from Nevada to Virginia have recently lifted or are about to end moratoriums on rent payments and foreclosures designed to get people through the pandemic and its economic fallout.