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Pima County constable resigns as evictions, rent hikes continue in Tucson

Pima County Constable Kristen Randall is resigning later this month, as rent prices and evictions continue to climb in the city.

Randall became midtown Tucson's constable in 2019. A year into her work, pandemic job losses put thousands at risk of evictions as federal and local eviction mandates were lifted.

Randall was in charge of serving those notices. But she also tried to help prevent them, speaking with tenants in person and connecting them with rental assistance when possible. 

Hear Kristen Randall discuss her resignation with Host Mark Brodie on The Show

pima-county-constable-show-mb-20220210.mp3

But she says, that’s been increasingly difficult as the housing market explodes.

"We’re seeing rents increase by $200-$300 per month, sometimes more, and this is not something folks can just budget into their fixed income," she said. 

Pima County received a $102 million for rental assistance programs as part of the American Rescue Plan and more is on the way.

Still, Randall says the county served hundreds of evictions last month. And as long as housing affordability and availability decline, even record rental assistance won’t be enough.

She says she'd like her next role to help tackle some of the same housing issues she worked on as a constable, but she's not sure yet exactly how. Her last day will be Feb. 13.

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Alisa Reznick is a senior field correspondent covering stories across southern Arizona and the borderlands for the Tucson bureau of KJZZ's Fronteras Desk.