You may have heard about the emerging rent crisis in our city and country. Rent is increasing at alarming rates almost everywhere. Personally, I have heard of one person whose rent increased 40% in one year here in Tucson. Because salaries are not increasing at nearly the same rate. COVID related assistance programs have ended and most people who rent are in a bind. Even renters who were previously able to save a few hundred dollars a month previously are now struggling to pay rent. /not
Just in the past two months, the Minister's Discretionary Fund has given over $2000 in rent and temporary housing assistance to UUCT members to help them stay in their homes. That is after many of these individuals found additional rent assistance through Interfaith Community Services and other community services. To assure that many people can benefit from the fund, I have a practice of limiting the amount that any individual can receive from the fund each year. And, I will not allow a UUCT member to lose their housing for lack of rent.
The Minister's Discretionary Fund is now under $2000 and there is no plan to raise for it again until Christmas Eve. Many have given generous donations to the fund during COVID, but we have not raised for this fund in a robust way since Christmas Eve 2019. If you are financially able, please make a donation to the Minister's Discretionary Fund. The MDF will continue to support rent assistance and other basic needs for UUCT members and friends.
If you are a renter and interested in building collective power to advocate for housing as a human right, get connected with the Tucson Tenants Union: https://www.tucsontenantsunion.org/. Also, be in touch with me if you need financial assistance to stay in your home.
Rev. Bethany Russell-Lowe
May 31, 2022