Financial Wellness Partnership Update
August 2022
In this month's newsletter, get a glimpse of next week's Network meeting agenda, catch up on work from our focus teams, learn about the PSLF Student Loan Waiver, and more.
United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona's Financial Wellness Partnership envisions a community where every person and family is financially well - specifically, they can:

  • Cover the cost of their basic needs

  • Save for emergencies

  • Make informed choices for themselves and their families with financial skills

  • Pursue wealth-building opportunities

  • Participate in civic and community resource decisions
For all of these areas, financial wellness requires equitable access, awareness, and the capability to use resources related to income, employment, housing, benefits, budgeting, credit, and more. 
Meeting and Project Updates
Join us at our next Financial Wellness Partnership Network Meeting Thursday 8/18, 1-2:30pm

Our August meeting will include a conversation about how financial wellness programs can complement eviction prevention efforts. Lisa Floran from United Way will review a work-in-process eviction prevention continuum map that Financial Wellness partners have been developing over the past few months to guide thinking about when to offer financial wellness resources and to whom. We will also host Amanda Chin Yee from the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy for a presentation about how their financial resources and products can be integrated with local programs and partners. Attendees will also hear about our Financial Coaching/Education group's recent IDEA work and the Public Policy group's discussions on savings data and promising practices.

All interested individuals are welcome to join! Contact Lisa Floran (lfloran@unitedwaytucson.org) to receive the meeting link.
Public Policy Team Updates
In July, the Public Policy team reviewed research and resources about promising savings strategies emerging at state and national levels. Over the past few months, United Way staff combed through emerging research and reports to identify 24 strategies of note that fell into roughly seven categories. At the meeting, the group discussed four categories and was most interested in two specific strategies:

  • Children's Savings Accounts: CSAs are similar to other custodial accounts that become available when a child reaches a certain age; however, they have some specific requirements. First, CSAs must provide some form of incentive (seed deposit, matched-savings, etc.) and second, they must be designated for post-secondary education or another wealth-building investment such as purchasing a home. Visit Prosperity Now's CSA page for more information and resources.

  • Pension-linked Emergency Savings (Employer-sponsored savings accounts): Pension-linked savings is quickly gaining popularity, with several employers already offering it as a benefit and several pieces of proposed legislation working their way through Congress. Yahoo Finance and Prosperity Now partnered to provide an overview of these various savings-related bills.

The group plans to continue exploring these initiatives, specifically in Southern Arizona, to determine possible action steps around education and advocacy.
Articles and action opportunities flagged by the public policy group this month:

  • City Seeking Input on Proposed Source of Income Protection Ordinance: Source of income protection makes it unlawful for landlords or property managers to reject a rental application solely based on the applicant’s source of income, including rental assistance such as Housing Choice Voucher Program, Rapid Rehousing, and other federal, state, or local assistance programs. Federal housing laws do not guarantee source of income protections. If approved, this ordinance would amend the City Code to prohibit discrimination based on source of income. Learn more at public input sessions and how to offer your feedback at the link.
  • Ready, Set, Vote Pima County: Practical, up-to-date, non-partisan voting information for Pima County, supported by the League of Women Voters - Tucson.
  • House Passes 17% Increase in HUD Budget: The bill would provide nearly $63 billion for HUD's programs, a $9 billion (17%) increase from the previous fiscal year.

The Public Policy group will next meet on Wednesday 9/7 at 1:30pm - Contact Lisa Floran (lfloran@unitedwaytucson.org) to receive the link, notes, and meeting agendas.
Financial Education and Coaching Team Updates
At their July meeting, the Financial Coaching and Education (financial skills) group heard from Noel Wilkinson of the Take Charge America Institute, which supports a range of financial education programs and resources in Pima County and beyond. The group also began discussing another barrier identified for financial coaching and education practitioners: Impact and Measurement. The group started exploring this topic by discussing what success looks like in financial coaching and education, together emphasizing that success should be individually determined by the participant, trauma-informed, and able to be used in everyday life. When discussing data measurement, common indicators related to banking status, credit scores, financial behaviors, and debt reduction emerged. Group members voiced a need for more support to follow up with participants in the months and years after programs to see if success was maintained or if additional supports might be helpful.
The Financial Education and Coaching group will next meet on Thursday 9/1 at 1pm - Email Lisa Floran (lfloran@unitedwaytucson.org) to receive the link, notes, and meeting agendas.
Resource: The Limited PSLF Waiver
Reducing debt is a key component of helping individuals build up their savings. Until Oct. 31, 2022, federal student loan borrowers can get credit for payments that previously didn’t qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) or Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness (TEPSLF). Under the limited PSLF waiver, you can get credit for past payments even if you didn’t make the payment on time, didn’t pay the full amount due, or weren’t on a the right repayment plan. Here’s what you can do to take advantage of the limited PSLF waiver:

  • Confirm your employer is qualified: Government and many nonprofit employers qualify - see the qualifying employer list via the PSLF Help Tool.
  • Consolidate your loans if you need to: To be considered for the limited PSLF waiver, you must have a Direct Loan. If you don’t, you have until Oct. 31, 2022, to consolidate your loans into a Direct Loan.
  • Understand what the PSLF waiver changes and don't delay: Oct. 31 may seem far away, but don’t wait until the last minute! Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your PSLF form and/or to apply for consolidation. Keep in mind that processing your PSLF form and/or consolidation will take time, too.
Learn more about the process from the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office or with some of the resources listed below.

  • The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA): TISLA was founded to ensure that all student loan borrowers have access to free, neutral and clear student loan advice and dispute resolution assistance. They provide updated information on student loans and can answer direct questions via email for free
  • Student Borrower Protection Center: Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.
Resource Corner
Woman peeks over a book in a library surrounded by books
Financial Wellness Resources for Southern Arizona
United Way Tucson Financial Wellness Resource List: Find programmatic and 1:1 opportunities for financial coaching/education, tax assistance, workforce development, and more on this list developed by United Way of Tucson and Southern AZ partners. If you are involved with a program, service, or other resource supporting financial wellness in Southern Arizona, we would love to add you to the list.

Want to add or update your program's entry? Use this form.
Reading List
Other Opportunities
CommunityCares SDOH System Roadshow Series Reboot: Contexture, Arizona’s health information exchange (HIE), and Unite Us are pleased to present a series of community education events created to showcase the new platform powering CommunityCares, Arizona’s social determinants of health (SDOH) system. Attend a virtual CommunityCares SDOH Roadshow presentations during August to explore the new system and learn how to participate in the program.


Unsheltered Homelessness Forum: This two-day session (August 15-16) will include community updates on local data, initiatives, and efforts to address homelessness followed by a series of smaller group meetings to develop specific action plans and identify resource and capacity needs related to unsheltered homelessness in the Tucson area.

Course Offering - Justice Movement | Allyship in Ownership: Justice Movement presents a 4-week course dedicated to discussing what it means to own property and collect rent in an ethical and equitable way. Register at the link above.

Professional Development: Viable Insights recently shared a strategic planning and continuous quality improvement resource that they have made free for our partners – you can access it here via the coupon code FWP21.
Additional Information

What Tenants Need to Know During COVID-19 – Robust list including rental assistance, eviction protection/moratorium, and legal assistance resources compiled by Pima County.

Eviction Prevention Resources - The Tucson Pima EPP portal for rental and utility assistance is still open, working with a network of nonprofits to distribute relief funds from the City of Tucson and Pima County. Tenants are encouraged to sign up for the waitlist in order to be considered.
  • Utility Assistance: The page linked here, found via TucsonPimaEp.com, is a great central resource for different utility relief programs, including those from TEP, Southwest Gas, and other local providers.

Free Tax Assistance: United Way of Tucson's VITA program continues to operate (though at reduced capacity) throughout the summer. If you or someone you know still needs to file, visit the VITA webpage to learn more about using GetYourRefund's online filing or setting up a Valet VITA intake appointment.

*NEW* FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance: To help ease the financial stress caused by the virus, FEMA is helping pay for COVID-19- related funeral expenses. Individuals can receive up to $9,000. To start an application, individuals must first call the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline: 844-684-6333. Multiple languages are available. The phone line is open Monday-Friday, 9am-9pm E.T.

TucsonEvictionHelp.org: This tool from TPCH can help individuals and families check their eligibility for homelessness prevention funds, which may be available in certain situations - such as when a family is paying to stay at a hotel but running out of funds, or being forced to leave a housing situation where they are doubled up.

Arizona Homeowner Assistance Fund: The HAF program provides help for homeowners who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 after January 21st, 2020. Homeowners can use HAF funds for the purpose of preventing the following: homeowner mortgage delinquencies, homeowner mortgage defaults, homeowner mortgage foreclosures, homeowner loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacements of homeowners experiencing financial hardship.

Health Benefits: AHCCCS is taking steps to ensure that all eligible Arizonans can stay covered as the federal government ends the national public health emergency. Visit the AHCCCS page to check steps that can ensure members do not experience gaps in coverage.

SingleCare Affordable Prescriptions: United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona partners with SingleCare to provide community members with access to affordable prescription medications. The SingleCare prescription savings card is always free to use by everyone and has no registration or eligibility requirements - it can be used right away. Once signed up, a member just needs to show the savings card to their pharmacist when they fill a prescription at a participating pharmacy. The discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)- The ACP is an FCC benefit (formerly Emergency Broadband Benefit) that helps ensure households can afford the broadband they require for work, healthcare and to stay connected. The ACP provides eligible low-income households a credit up to $30 a month toward the cost of Internet service ($75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands). Participants in the program can apply the ACP credit toward the cost of participating plans from a variety of Internet service providers, as well as mobile services.

  • Locally, Comcast is one participating provider. Households that choose plans that cost $30/month or less will essentially receive their service for free - learn more about Comcast's program here

Pima County Housing Search - Searchable database of affordable rental housing, supported by Pima County

AZ Eviction Help - Information about eviction processes, tenant rights, and resources for rental assistance, utility assistance, legal assistance compiled by the Arizona Bar Association

*NEW SETS OF TEST AVAILABLE* Order Free COVID-19 Tests: Go to COVIDTests.gov, to order four tests per household. Orders will usually ship in 7-12 days and will begin shipping later this month.


AZDHS COVID-19 Website – Latest updates, closure and re-opening announcements, and data dashboard
The Financial Wellness Partnership seeks to improve the financial wellness of individuals and families by increasing accessibility to effective services, resources, and opportunities, and by influencing policy to
develop equitable, people-centered systems that support financial wellness.

View past newsletters and learn more about our programs here: United Way Financial Wellness

If you have questions or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact Lisa Floran, Senior Director of Financial Wellness Initiatives at United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona: lfloran@unitedwaytucson.org