Arizona residents confused by rental assistance rules and restrictions

Rental assistance has been a lifeline for many Arizonans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and that’s especially true as eviction filings have grown tremendously over the last two months.

A Phoenix woman says she's confused why she still owes money, even though she got assistance.

Yasheika Perkins was out of work and didn’t qualify for unemployment. "I was selling water in the corner just to make ends meet. I was selling plasma just to make ends meet," she said.

Now the single mother is moving because rent is increasing too much at her Phoenix apartment, but before she was ready to move out, she got more than $4,000 in rental assistance.

She called the money a blessing.

"A blessing to know that I can go a couple months, make some money and save it so that when the time comes, I’m back on track," she said.

It turns out, the money she received didn’t cover the bills.

"Sewer, trash, common electric, service fee of $5," she said, looking at her accumulating bills.

The Arizona Housing Coalition says depending on the assistance, what's covered by the assistance can change.

"There have been various rental programs that have been stood up as a result of the pandemic, have different regulations and restrictions, different applicability and different ways those dollars can be used and that’s what creates a lot of confusion, unfortunately for the tenant and frankly, also the landlord," explained Joan Serviss with the Arizona Housing Coalition.

Now, rental assistance is needed more than ever as eviction filings in Maricopa County essentially doubled since the moratorium ended in August.

However, that doesn’t mean twice as many people are losing their homes.

"Between that filing of an eviction and the filing of a writ of restitution, there’s still an opportunity for the landlord to be made whole and the landlord to pay their rental cost," Serviss said.

Surprisingly, eviction filings are still down 25% compared to 2019.

The coalition says if you think your rental assistance is being put toward charges or fees that you think shouldn’t exist, you can get free help at

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