As we looked forward to spring and all of the enjoyment it brings to us here in Arizona, we saw our lives turned upside down with COVID-19. There are few times in my lifetime that I can remember much disruption to our daily lives. While profoundly heartbreaking, 9/11 did not disrupt the daily lives of those of us in the west, except to change the way we check in to airports and public buildings. A critical gas shortage in 1979 only left us idling in our cars while we impatiently waited in line for gas. Now we are dodging an invisible enemy, worrying us about our health and the other consequences of the outbreak.
Despite the disruptions we have recently experienced, at the Arizona Department of Housing we are continuing to work diligently to meet our obligations to Arizonans. In some instances, staff members are working from home, while others are at the office, as we attempt to work with a reduced crew to reduce social interaction to abate the spread.
Celebrations of new affordable housing properties such as groundbreakings and grand openings have been cancelled or postponed, but pre-development and construction continue. Manufactured housing production, installations and inspections continue as well.
We know that many Arizonans are concerned about their financial well-being due to employment impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Information concerning the State's foreclosure and eviction prevention assistance programs is available on the Department’s website. We hope you will share this information with anyone needing assistance. As the lead agency in deploying a $5 million allocation from the State's Crisis Contingency Safety Net Fund for homeless services, the Department reached out to over 100 shelters and homeless assistance programs statewide to offer assistance in meeting COVID-19 related challenges.
Government cannot and should not address every housing issue that effects the housing market. We know that in uncertain times like this, housing resources take on added importance. To the degree that we have resources, we are working to maximize those resources and opportunities to the best of our abilities.
At the Arizona Department of Housing, we consider ourselves blessed to live in the great state of Arizona where we continue to, even under these unique conditions, make Arizona the best place to live, work, and play.
Housing Matters | Spring 2020