In Arizona, 600,000 residents face eviction when the October moratorium lifts.

As millionaire bureaucrats in Washington debate the luxurious lifestyle of the unemployed, the federal moratorium on evictions is set to expire on Friday. Combined with the possible abrupt end of unemployment benefits, a storm of homelessness is threatening the nation.

In Arizona, that number could be as high as 600,000.

The state is at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic. A Republican stronghold, corona virus cases surged following a Trump rally in June.

The latest figure was reported as the state saw its highest daily increase in new virus cases, with 4,878 reported on Wednesday, July 1. At the time, Arizona’s overall test-positivity rate had risen to 12.4 percent. 

Newsweek

AZ added as many new daily cases as the EU with 60 times the population.

The state’s Governor Doug Ducey delayed evictions until October 31, but this does little other than create uncertainty. His leadership during the crisis has received sharp criticism. While confirming the pandemic was “brutal”, he refused to mandate wearing masks.

Even if Congress manages to approve further support, Senate Republicans are proposing cutting unemployment benefits by 43 percent. This will do little to help those already behind on their rent.

On July 31, approximately 25 million people will stop receiving weekly $600 federal unemployment checks. The Grand Canyon State accounts for 2.6 million of those, according to the Arizona Department of Employment Security.

How the Arizona Eviction Numbers Pan Out

Population estimates for 2019 are 7 million with about 5 million living in owner occupied homes. According to US Census data, Arizona has 605,000 reported rental units in the state. This is not the number of individuals living in rental housing, but the actual housing units designated as rentals.

Arizona has 2.69 people per household and using this figure, we can estimate 1.6 million individuals living in rentals at full occupancy.

According to CNBC, 38 percent of Arizona renters are now facing eviction. This means up to 600,000 individuals are facing homelessness in Arizona alone.

“It’s an impossible situation,” Amanda said, requesting to remain anonymous. “We have never been late on rent until this pandemic. Our landlord has informed us we will be evicted as soon as the moratorium ends. Without a job, and a recent eviction, no one is going to rent to us.”

“We will be homeless.”

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Shelly Fagan

Shelly Fagan is a freelance writer living in Arizona. She is passionate about American politics, business, universal basic income and worker rights. Follow her on Twitter @FaganWrites or on Medium at https://medium.com/@shellyfaganaz

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