Housing Assistance

Low income emergency assistance approved for Surprise

The City of Surprise will receive an additional $87,000 to help low-income residents of the Northwest Valley meet their housing and utility costs in times of emergency. The funding was approved unanimously Wednesday by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors who will enter an intergovernmental agreement with the city to provide the funds.

The $87,000 will supplement the city’s $28,000 local share in helping to make improvements to a facility used by the Surprise Community Action Program and provide services in El Mirage at the El Mirage Senior Center.

“I am pleased the county can enter into these partnerships with our cities and non-profits,” said District 4 Supervisor Clint Hickman. “This way, we extend our reach to provide services to more of our customers. In this case, the help is in the form of emergency funds to struggling families.”

“It is not easy living paycheck-to-paycheck as one emergency situation can make it tough for some families to cover their monthly expenses,” said Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott. “By having this new resource in our community to provide short-term financial assistance to our city’s most vulnerable residents – whether it be helping pay one month’s rent or covering a couple months of utility bill payments – it may be just the boost they need to stay in their home.”

The funds are directed to the Surprise Community Action Program, specifically to help with utility payments, rent, housing and other short-term crisis services. The CAP aims to reduce poverty, help vulnerable people become more self-sufficient and achieve their potential.

Bruce Liggett, Maricopa County Human Services Director, said: “There are a significant number of individual and families living in poverty and the impacts on communities is devastating. These funds help make their lives better.”

The Surprise Community Action Program will initially be located in the AZ TechCelerator, 12425 W. Bell Road, when it opens in mid-October 2015.