Supervisors approve plan to provide legal aid for eviction of Pima County tenants


TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – The Pima County Supervisory Board has approved a one-year framework agreement worth up to $ 425,000 with four law firms to provide legal services to eligible tenants who are threatened with deportation in Pima County as of his December date. 7 meeting.

The purpose of this contract is to help tenants who cannot afford a lawyer during the eviction process. The Office of Emergency Eviction Legal Services, or EELS, will oversee the contract within the Pima County Community and Workforce Development Department.

The framework agreement, which was approved by 4 votes to 1, will be in effect for the whole of 2022.

Andrew Flagg, deputy director of Community & Workforce Development that oversees the EELS office, said in a December 3 board note that the program is expected to refer more than 1,500 tenants to lawyers next year for representation or assistance in eviction cases.

Four law firms have been engaged to help meet sufficient needs and handle a large number of anticipated cases.

“Through contracts with non-profit organizations and private lawyers, the Office of Emergency Eviction Legal Services provides access to justice for tenants threatened with eviction. In the first three months of operation, the office served nearly 400 households, ”Flagg said.

“The framework agreement approved today will allow Pima County to continue providing these services to hundreds of additional homes in 2022.”

The four firms involved in the deal are Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Ferguson Hill Law Firm and Paul Gattone Law Firm, all of Tucson, as well as Barton Mendez Soto of Tempe.

As of Dec. 7, Pima County, in partnership with the City of Tucson and the nonprofit Community Investment Corporation, has processed nearly 7,600 local cases and distributed nearly $ 38 million in rent assistance and more than $ 3.6 million in assistance to public services since March. It is estimated that 5,000 cases still need help.

Landlords can apply for rental and utility assistance on behalf of their tenants, but households must also be part of the process to verify that they meet the income requirements to be eligible.

Renters or homeowners who want to apply or learn more about rental and utility assistance can visit TucsonPimaEP.com.

All tenants facing eviction who wish to seek legal aid are encouraged to contact the Office of Emergency Eviction Legal Services by clicking HERE or by calling (520) 724-3357.

Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.

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