Arizona's eviction moratorium was set to expire on July 22, and advocates are urging Gov. Doug Ducey to extend it.
On Thursday, Ducey announced that the ban on evictions would be extended till October 31.
Ducey said he does not intend to extend the moratorium, the Associated Press reported.
One study found that more than 577,000 Arizonians could be at risk of eviction by September.
Advocates of extension said the moratorium should be extended since $4 million of the state's $5 million rental assistance program has yet to be dispersed.
About 1,100 of the 17,000 residents that applied for rental assistance have received it.
Arizona recorded more than 3,250 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, as housing groups continued to advocate for an extension of the state's eviction moratorium, which was set to expire next week, potentially leaving thousands of Arizonians homeless during a pandemic and in blistering hot temperatures, the Associated Press reported.
"It's so hot in Arizona, you cannot live outside if you lose your home," Meghan Heddings, executive director of Family Housing Resources in Tucson told the AP. "And, of course, we're still in the middle of a pandemic."
On Thursday, Gov. Doug Ducey announced that he would be extending the eviction moratorium through October 31. The AP previously reported that Ducey said he had no intention of extending the ban.
"Today's plan protects families and individuals impacted by COVID-19 while empowering them to keep making rent payments," Ducey said in an emailed statement. "This is the right thing to do for public health and our economy. I'm grateful to all the stakeholders who have worked with us and are working together to protect families and prioritize public health. We'll continue working with our partners at the county and local levels to make resources and assistance available for all those impacted by COVID-19."
According to AZCentral the eviction moratorium was set to expire on July 22 and would have left as many as 5,000 renters in Maricopa County alone at the risk of eviction.
The moratorium was meant to help ensure those who caught the coronavirus or lost their job during the pandemic weren't evicted. Prior to Ducey's extension, many advocates said that as cases continue to climb, and the state becomes a hotspot, it's too early to lift the ban on evictions.
The state has the highest rate of infections per capita across the nation, the AP reported.
By the end of September, more than 577,000 renters could be at risk of eviction in Arizona, the Aspen Institute found.
The same report found that across the nation around 20 million renters could be at risk of losing their homes.
Advocates have argued that the moratorium should be extended on grounds that the almost 80% of the $5 million allocated to assist those struggling with rent has yet to be dispersed.
On Thursday, Ducey's office said he was allocating "$650,000 to Community Action Agencies for additional staff to process rental assistance for those in need"
"In total, state and local governments have made more than $80 million available to assist renters and prevent homelessness," the statement added.
According to AZCentral, in March, the state launched a rental assistance program where landlords could get up to $2,000 a month for each renter who is eligible. Only about 1,100 of the 17,000 residents that applied for rental assistance have received it.
An Aspen Institute analysis of data from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law found that approximately $3 billion would be needed across the state to address the potential consequences of eviction such as the need for homeless shelters and emergency health care,
"We have to get more time so this doesn't become a catastrophe," Stacy Butler, director of the Innovation for Justice Program at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law, told the AP.
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