Executive orders could help unemployed renters


Rental Realities (Flickr)

A recent executive order restricts evictions from hardships caused by COVID-19

Ole Olafson, Reporter

Arizonans who have experienced income loss due to the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent restrictions placed on business operations and personal activities could benefit from two recent executive orders issued by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Executive order 2020-11 was issued Mar. 20.  It allows individuals who have become unemployed or lost income related to measures aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 more flexibility in applying for and receiving unemployment benefits.

The order acknowledges many Arizona residents are experiencing financial hardships since a Public Health State of Emergency was declared Mar. 11 which caused many businesses to dramatically reduce their hours and operations.

It also explains that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed by President Trump on Mar. 18 expands Federal unemployment funding to states due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The order allows for individuals who meet existing requirements in regards to work history, earnings and residency to apply for benefits if their employer has permanently or temporarily reduced or ceased operations due to COVID-19 or if an individual requires to be quarantined and doesn’t have available paid leave.

The order also covers people who have left their work because of risk of exposure or to care for an infected family member.

The order waives the waiting period before individuals can begin receiving benefits as well as the “able and available to work, actively seeking work, and daily job contacts” requirements.

The order also seeks to protect employers (who are normally charged by the state for unemployment claims) to not have claims resulting from the executive order charged against their account.

Executive Order 2020-14 deals with the postponement of evictions for renters who become unable to pay rent as a result of financial hardships caused by measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The order requires landlords or property owners to delay eviction of individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and require quarantine as well as those ordered by a medical professional to self-quarantine, based on showing symptoms of the disease.

It also includes individuals who have suffered substantial loss of income due to job loss or the need to parent home-bound children.