Since March 2020, hundreds of millions of dollars in housing and homeless assistance has been distributed throughout Arizona, by way of the State, counties, cities, and many nonprofit partners. And more is on its way. Year after year, tens of thousands of Arizonans face possible evictions. A very minute portion of our population actually ends up homeless, but it is a tragedy when it occurs and oftentimes a hard situation to turn around. But always it seems there is a lack of resources available to address all of the need we see on a daily basis. Now, suddenly, significant resources are available.
Having spent the last quarter of a century working in this arena, it is mind boggling when you truly understand the amount of funding that has already been utilized, is currently available, or could potentially be allocated in the future. Advocates have long sought the types of resources that are now available.
If I have any advice for our partners it would be this: this moment in time may be a once in a lifetime chance to access resources to address housing stability, housing development, and helping to move people out of homelessness. Government cannot and should not address every issue around housing. But to the degree that we have resources and opportunities, we should maximize those opportunities to the best of our abilities. In our present situation, more than ever, we need our partners to step up and realize the time is now.
Right now – today! – the Arizona Department of Housing has funding available for which our partners may apply. Two Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs), one to provide resources for the development of shelters or transitional housing, and another for the development of rental housing, are currently available and publicized on the Department’s website. Resources are available on a first come, first served basis for projects that meet the application criteria.
If you are reading this, chances are you are already actively looking at ways you and your organization can put more resources to work. We thank you for your passion and interest, and look forward to continuing to work with you to actively move toward our mutual goals to make Arizona the best place to live, work and play.
Housing Matters | Spring 2021