How the Phoenix Housing Initiative will impact affordable housing in the metro area – Arizona's Family

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Rent has skyrocketed across the Phoenix metro area and the City of Phoenix is trying to address it through the Phoenix Housing Initiative.
According to the most recent Phoenix Housing Department report, the city is almost at its halfway point of the goal to create or preserve around 50,000 units by 2030. The Phoenix Housing Initiative, originally launched in 2019, reviewed the 23,000 housing units to get an idea of the scope of what’s now been made available to residents. According to the report, 22,683 units have been created or preserved since the initiative launched. 16,776 were market-price units. 960 affordable units were created, while 2,152 were preserved.
“Affordable housing has always had a funding challenge. There’s never really been enough funding to help support affordable housing development. Add to that sort of housing shortage supply shortage, the gap that we have, you know, cost increases, delays to construction. All of that is not in the favor of affordable housing development,” said Joseph MacEwan with the Phoenix Housing Department.
For those needing affordable housing options, fewer than 1,000 units were created or preserved by the department. The city says that it is aware of the disparity and that it is working to close the gap. When the city looked at the numbers pre-pandemic, he said there was a housing shortage of about 163,000 units. Of those, MacEwan said nearly 100,000 units needed to be affordable. “As we discussed, that’s not really what we’re seeing developed today,” McEwan said.
“We’ve certainly seen more development now than we ever have in recent years. We have about 3,200 affordable units that are right now either in pre-development or under construction,” said McEwan. “And over the next two years should be coming online, so that’ll add a significant number of units to the market.”
One unit near Van Buren Street and 20th called Harmony at the Park is set to be complete by the end of this year, but there is still a long way to go. To help spur development, MacEwan said the city council allocated $12 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act toward affordable housing.
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