‘Phoenix is rising,’ Mayor Kate Gallego says in State of the City address
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego delivered her State of the City address Friday. Ahead of the speech, her team said the mayor would focus on economic development and advances in technology.
Gallego cited the success of the city’s business and job growth. While mentioning the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation economic deal, Gallego announced that two more Taiwanese companies, Sunlit Chemical and Foxlink, have made deals to establish factories in Phoenix. She stated that two California companies from the Bay area, Sendoso and Diamond Age 3D, plan to relocate their company headquarters to Phoenix.
When it came to addressing the city’s first responders, Gallego stated, “I have never, and I will never defund the Phoenix Police Department.” The mayor discussed the city’s plan to invest $15 million to expand the Community Assistance Program, which handles calls for mental health. Gallego also said new investments were made into virtual technology for training officers in handling complex situations.
Gallego addressed issues in the city, including the rising number of homeless people. The Maricopa Association of Governments says there are nearly 3,100 homeless people in Phoenix. That’s 716 more people than two years ago. The Human Services Campus says the city has been a solid partner in combatting homelessness. Newly built shelters are helping people, but there is still a lot more work to do. Homeless rates have increased over the past 10 years. Advocates say they need to find more ways to make homelessness temporary and not permanent.
The mayor also addressed the rising cost of rent and the competitive housing market. Some rent prices have gone up several hundred dollars a month. Gallego said the city has a plan for making housing more affordable. The Housing Phoenix Plan aims to build or preserve around 50,000 homes by 2030. Another plan by the city, the hotels-to-housing program, is converting hardly used hotels into shelters as well.
“Since I’ve been in office, Phoenix has issued more than 22,000 permits for new single family homes and multi-family units,: said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego during her ‘State of the City.’ “One of the first policies I proposed as mayor was the Housing Phoenix Plan with a stated goal to build or preserve 50,000 homes by 2030.”
A Valley realtor says Gallego’s housing plan isn’t enough to keep up with the demand. “We’re going to have a shortfall there. We’re producing about 12,000 new apartments every year right now and we’re still not building enough; the demand is still there. There’s still a shortfall so we probably need at least double that amount,” said realtor Chris Karas, founder of The Karas Group.
Karas also added home prices may not be falling anytime soon. “We have zero indication that prices are going to be dropping. If anything they might stay steady or increase a little,” said Karas.
More than 5,000 people are experiencing homelessness in Maricopa County, almost 3,100 in Phoenix.
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