Phoenix just received $198 million from the federal government and $70.5 million will be used to address homelessness and affordable housing.
The funding comes from the city’s second tranche of COVID-19 stimulus funds, officially known as the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
The biggest chunk — $26 million — will support hotel rentals, hotel purchases and the operation of small emergency shelters — all in partnership with nonprofits providing assistance. help with things like health care and employment.
Regarding new shelters, Mayor Kate Gallego said Phoenix residents deserved priority: “I think when we quote facilities, if we can show our neighbors that it does – reduce the impacts on their neighborhoods , it will only help to get more support.”
On Tuesday, the council also earmarked $16 million to keep a new shelter at 28th and Washington streets open for two years, in partnership with Maricopa County.
“The Washington Street Shelter was a perfect example of the city and county coming together, instead of pointing fingers at each other,” said city manager Jeff Barton. “We all need to work together to resolve this issue because it’s not just a Phoenix issue, so we’ll be continuing those conversations as well.”
The $70.5 million should be used this way:
- $12,000,000 Affordable Housing Program Pending federal direction, continue to explore possible ways to create and preserve more affordable housing by providing top-up funding to developers.
- $5,000,000 Community Land Trust Program Pending federal guidelines, continue to explore funding for an all-inclusive community land trust (acquisition, housing development, rehabilitation, down payment assistance, and administrative costs).
- $4,000,000 Landlord Incentive Program To continue the Landlord Incentive Program with a $2,000 incentive payment as executed by the Housing Assistance Payment Agreement. Personal services
- The $26,500,000 Homelessness Projects proposal includes three main elements: the rental of a hotel operated by a nonprofit for transitional housing, includes wrap-around services; Buy a hotel for long-term accommodation, including wrap-around services; operate a pocket emergency shelter in partnership with a non-profit organization, including wraparound services.
- $16,000,000 Heat Response/Temporary Shelter To provide temporary shelter and complementary services to people experiencing homelessness. This program will partner with Maricopa County to enter into a lease agreement for a building to begin providing critical heat relief and additional supplemental services for up to 200 people this summer and continue the program for at least two years. additional.
- $6,000,000 St. Vincent de Paul Transitional Housing Project To provide funds to St. Vincent de Paul to build 100 new transitional housing beds for people experiencing homelessness in the city of Phoenix. The facility will include comprehensive services to remove barriers to ending homelessness. Maricopa County provides matching funding for capital costs.
- $1,000,000 Homeless Youth Reunification Program Connecting homeless youth to housing and social support needs. The program will allow youth to reconnect with family/friends, pay housing deposits and other relocation needs and unexpected barriers that prevent youth from exiting homelessness.
A breakdown of how Phoenix spent ARPA funds on vulnerable populations is available on the city’s website.
Since COVID-19, city leaders have prioritized using local and federal dollars to expand community reach for homeless people, supporting nonprofits that specialize in vulnerable populations, and offering financial incentives for landlords and developers to accept low-income tenants and build housing for low-income people. income residents.