As a public agency, the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) generates and maintains a significant number of public records. According to A.R.S. §41.1350 public records are:
All books, papers, maps, photographs or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics . . . made or received by any governmental agency in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved or appropriate for preservation by the agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the government, or because the informational and historical value of the data contained therein . . .
As required by A.R.S. Title 39, Ch. 1, Part, 2, ADOH is required to disclose “public records” in a reasonable time after a request for disclosure has been made. However, the agency may deny a request to disclose all or a part of a “public record” when the requested material contains information that is protected from disclosure by federal or state statute. For example, personal financial and taxpayer information is protected from disclosure. Please note, also, that documents and materials destroyed pursuant to the agency’s retention schedule are not “public records” subject to disclosure.
Because requests for disclosure of public records often raise legal questions, and in order to facilitate timely response to requests, the agency has established policies and procedures for processing requests for disclosure. The agency’s policies and procedures regarding disclosure of public records held in its care are outlined below. Download a copy of the Policies and Procedures.
How do I request public records from ADOH?
All requests for public records should be submitted to the Assistant Deputy Director/Operations who serves as the agency’s Public Records Management Coordinator according to the instructions below.
Requests MUST be submitted in writing, utilizing the agency’s Public Records Request Form. Requests will be accepted any time during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
In person or by mail:
Assistant Deputy Director/Operations
Assistant to the Director/Assistant Deputy Directors
Public Records Fees
As permitted by A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(1), ADOH charges a fee to cover the costs of reproduction and postage for hard copies of records being requested for non-commercial purposes. Additional charges apply to public records requested for commercial purposes, see A.R.S. § 39-121.03.
25 cents per page; this fee covers standard mailing costs for materials weighing 13 oz. or less. If the request requires the mailing or shipping of records weighing in excess of 13 oz., the agency will notify the requester of any additional delivery fees. Additional retrieval/delivery charges apply (generally $3 per record) for records that are held offsite at the Arizona State Library and Public Records (ASLPR) facility. Once the materials identified in a public record request have been identified and gathered, a written invoice indicating fee amounts will be provided to the record requester. Checks or money orders should be made payable to: Arizona Department of Housing. Cash is also accepted. Note: the agency does not accept credit card payments for public records fees. All fees must be received by the agency in advance of the release of records.
No charge if the documents are already in electronic form. If a request is made to convert hard copies into electronic copies, the same 25 cents per page fee will be charged. If electronic records are too large to exchange through email, copies may be transferred to a CD. In such cases, the cost to mail the CD will be added to the fee charged if the entire mailing exceeds 13 oz.
If requested records or materials are available on the agency’s website (www.housing.az.gov) then the records have already been made available to the public free of charge. The agency does not provide hard copies of materials that are already available for downloading through its website. This does not apply to requests for materials made through a reasonable accommodation request pursuant to the American Disabilities Act and similar law.
Records that are requested for commercial purposes will be charged for the value of the reproduction on the commercial market as allowed per A.R.S. 39-121.03. For more information, see page two of the Public Records Request Form.
Timing of Public Records Requests
ADOH will make every effort to provide access to and/or copies of public records in a reasonable amount of time, generally within 5 business days. However, depending on the volume or age of the records requested, more time may be required. If a request is expected to be delayed more than 5 business days, ADOH will notify the requester in writing. Delays may be caused by the amount of staff time necessary to handle large volumes of records or, if due to the age of the records, the records require off-site retrieval from the Arizona State Library and Public Records (ASLPR) facility.
When requesting large volumes of records it is suggested that the requester make an appointment to view the records in person, if possible, prior to requesting copies. In many cases, requests for public records (and thus fees charged) can be substantially reduced if the requester has a chance to review the materials and select more specific records for copying.
Note Regarding Reports and Data
The agency frequently receives requests for reports or the compilation of data believed to be held by the agency under the guise of a public record request. It is the agency’s policy to make all public records available for inspection or copying (at a fee to the requester); however, the agency is not required to prepare documents and materials in response to a request.
In some cases records may be required to undergo a legal review prior to the release or review of materials by the public in order to avoid disclosure of information protected by statute. Certain confidential personal or financial information may be redacted prior to distribution. In the event that the agency concludes that a request includes information protected from disclosure, the agency will provide a written response to the requester that identifies the materials withheld or redacted and explains why the information is protected from disclosure. Additionally, materials subject to proprietary right or copyrighted materials, often found in housing market analysis reports, may not be available as public records due to copyright restrictions.