My first job in Arizona State government was managing Arizona’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF). That was nearly 25 years ago, and at that time the HTF had only been in operation for five years. Since the HTF received its first infusion of funding, in 1989, over $300 million has been invested in Arizona. To list all of the types of projects and programs that have utilized this resource during those years would be practically impossible and too numerous to mention. The number of households and individuals who have benefitted from this resource is countless.
As in the past, the HTF continues to be an invaluable resource to the state today. One of its best characteristics is its flexibility and ability to fund activities for which no federal resource exists. It has historically provided a way to finance difficult projects that would not happen if not for the provision of HTF. The Department’s ability to utilize this resource when no other funding quite fits the bill, is why HTF is in high demand and so very vital to the Department’s ability to be creative in addressing housing needs.
This past legislative session, the State Legislature and Governor saw fit to provide an additional $15 million in HTF beyond what the Department of Housing would normally expect. These funds, along with the $2.5 million in Unclaimed Property Funds, as well as other resources, such as fee income from the Arizona Industrial Development Authority’s single-family mortgage program, interest to the fund, and other deposits such as recaptured funds and loan payments, will provide an important resource for the Department’s investment in Arizona’s communities this year.
For more information on the projects that will benefit from the additional $15 million, you can read about it in the Feature Story of this newsletter. We are thankful that we have additional resources this year to help with the housing needs of some of Arizona’s most vulnerable populations.
Housing is a market-driven industry, as it should be. Government cannot and should not address every housing issue that effects the housing market. However, to the degree that we have appropriate resources and opportunities, we are better off as a society when people are adequately housed.
Housing Matters | Fall 2019