By Corinne Murdock |
Another $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding has been issued, this time from Maricopa County to Phoenix for the purpose of building more affordable housing.
$5 million of the ARPA funds will go to repurposing 125 rooms in a former Super 8 Motel off the I-17 and Northern Avenue, with the other $5 million going toward redevelopment efforts in the Edison-Eastlake Community (EEC) east of downtown Phoenix.
That’s around $40,000 per room for the motel renovation, and nearly $46,000 per unit. The latter development, EEC, will include unit sizes ranging from one to five bedrooms. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told KJZZ that people were excited at the prospect of larger affordable housing units during meetings about the redevelopment.
City-funded emergency shelters served over 2,600 families and over 5,900 individuals in 2021, over 3,400 families and over 7,300 individuals in 2022, and over 1,100 families and over 2,200 individuals so far this year. This year, 249 individuals left for permanent housing.
Since 2021, city-funded rapid rehousing programs have moved 579 households into rental housing: 398 in 2021, 139 in 2022, and 42 so far this year. Rapid rehousing programs place homeless individuals into conditionless permanent housing. Only one individual has acquired permanent housing this year.
Of nearly $400 million in total ARPA funding, the city has reported spending over $37.2 million of $119.3 million for affordable housing and homelessness. However, the city hasn’t reported spending any of its $16 million ARPA funding allocated specifically for the affordable housing program. It also hasn’t reported spending any of the $5 million allocated for its community land trust program. According to the city, these programs are “pending federal guidance.”
The Arizona legislature has also allocated an historic $150 million to the Housing Trust Fund. The Arizona Department of Housing also allocated $13.3 million to the city, with some of the funds applied to illegal immigrants as well as Arizona citizens.
The city has allocated at least $245 million in the past five years on the EEC.
The city received a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2018 for its EEC One Vision Plan. The city used that grant along with $190 million in leverage to redevelop the EEC with mixed-income housing. The HUD grant went toward demolishing 577 units and building over 1,100 units.
In December 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded the city $1 million for its criminal justice innovation program concerning EEC. The DOJ reported “alarmingly high” rates of domestic violence and sexual offenses, as well as chronic issues with drug sales and usage. Phoenix Police Depratment (PPD) had two to three higher call rates for overdoses, suicide attempts, and dead bodies than any other Phoenix neighborhood. The DOJ issued over $18.7 million in those types of grants that year.