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DIGGING DEEPER: Tenants, landlords voice concern over county eviction process during pandemic

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TUCSON - With courts re-opening across Arizona, there are growing concerns about how evictions are being conducted in Pima County, as well as the number of tenants who may be impacted.

For renters who have been out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the past three months have been especially difficult.

The pandemic has also been difficult for some landlords, who have not been receiving rent from their tenants who may have lost their job, or are facing other financial hardships.

Both landlords and tenants told News 4 Tucson, the process has been confusing, with both parties showing up to the Pima County Justice Court in-person, only to learn that the proceedings were to be held online.

According to County Supervisor Betty Villegas, in any given year, the county handles about 1,800 to 2,000 requests for housing assistance. Now halfway through 2020, that number has already been surpassed.

Supervisor Villegas tells News 4 Tucson, several local non-profits, as well as the City of Tucson are doing what they can to help.

Arizona attorneys have also set-up a hotline for people facing legal issues stemming from COVID-19. The hotline number is 866-611-6022.

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

Lupita Murillo

Lupita Murillo is an investigative reporter. She is part of the Digging Deeper team that uncovers important issues focusing on crime that affects the community.

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