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Arizona sends $89 million more to cities, groups for housing

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(The Center Square) – The Arizona Department of Housing is allocating funding to a wide range of entities to tackle housing issues.

Of the $89 million total amount, $40 million is stemming from grants in the Homeless Shelter and Services Fund, $46 million from the State Housing Trust Fund, and $3 million in federal funding. In a news release, the Hobbs administration touted the money being placed into the trust as part of this year’s current budget.

“As a social worker, I understand just how critical these services are to those experiencing homelessness,” Hobbs said in a statement Wednesday. “I am committed to making Arizona a place where temporary setbacks don’t prevent a person from reaching their full potential, where people aren’t turned away when they need help, and where our families can rest easy knowing there is a roof over their children’s heads. I am proud to deliver this funding and look forward to continuing these investments for years to come.”

The biggest recipient is Old Pueblo Community Services, a Tucson-based recovery organization, which is getting $7.1 million for two projects.

Other large recipients include the city of Tucson, St. Vincent De Paul, and Human Services Campus, which are each getting $4 million. As the city of Phoenix struggles with homelessness, including making headlines with the recent clearing out of “The Zone,” it’s receiving $3.1 million. Charities such as Catholic Charities and Native American Connections are also being granted funds for over $2 million.

“The HSS Fund was oversubscribed with applications demonstrating the great need to provide more shelter and supportive services for Arizonans in need,” ADOH CEO Joan Serviss said in a statement. “The providers we’ve funded now have significantly more resources to meet that need.”

One of the most notable allocations is the city of Sedona, as they are getting $875,638 in funds. In addition, $5 million will be dedicated toward 30 affordable housing units in Sedona known as “The Villas on Shelby.” The popular tourist destination has struggled to house people who work in the service industry, among others, as many properties have either gone up in price or become Airbnb’s. KJZZ reported that the city is continuing a program that will pay property owners to rent to residents as opposed to tourists for short-term visits.

Sedona’s affordable housing project is just one of 19 listed by the state government for this round of funding, as it includes projects in urban Phoenix and even rural Miami.

“The Arizona Department of Housing conducted in-depth and lengthy stakeholder outreach with regards to State Housing Trust Fund dollars and the overwhelming feedback was to program them toward affordable housing development,” Serviss added in her statement. “With this first allocation, we are pleased to respond with awards that will create more housing across the state that Arizonans can afford.”

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