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.

Emergency Rental Assistance flyer thumbnail Opens in new window


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.

Service Area

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.

Tenant Application

To qualify for assistance, the following criteria must be met: 

  1. Household lives in Maricopa County, but not in the cities of Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix; and
  2. 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
  3. Household demonstrates a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and 
  4. Household is living at or below 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
Household Size50% Area Median Income80% 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. 

Landlord Application

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:

Landlords must submit these documents in person at a local CAP office. Landlord applications will not be accepted through the Human Services Department’s Client Portal.

Contact Us

Have a question? We’re here to help. Call 602-506-0589 or fill out the this form.

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.