Phoenix Rental Assistance Program Excludes Some Immigrants, Lawsuit Claims

Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 5:31pm
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The city of Phoenix is facing a lawsuit over who can qualify for its pandemic emergency housing program. Plaintiffs say some immigrants are unfairly excluded. 

The city used $25 million from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide rental, mortgage, or utility assistance for struggling residents. The William E. Morris Institute for Justice and the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest are suing on behalf of two immigrant rights organizations. They say eligibility requirements for the city program exclude DACA recipients, people with temporary protected status, and other immigrant groups.

“If certain persons can’t access the funds, then they will suffer because of that," said Ellen Katz, an attorney in the case. 

Katz said the federal funding the city is using for the program does not have any immigration status requirements, so the city’s program shouldn’t either.

The city of Phoenix says it does not comment on pending litigation.

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