Tempe’s mayor has a long-term plan to combat the affordable housing crisis

Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 11:10 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Earlier this week, the City of Tempe opened up its applications for the housing voucher waitlist. But getting a spot is based on a lottery and thousands of families are still looking for help.

So what’s being done to help with the affordable housing crisis? The city’s mayor weighs in. Finding an affordable place to live has been a challenge for many Valley residents. Many are priced out of the place they’ve called home for years.

“Affordable housing is very much a part of that continuum many times people will end up becoming homeless because they simply can’t find affordable housing, where they have some kind of a traumatic event that leads them to that situation. so the city is actually doing quite a bit on that front,” said Mayor Corey Woods.

This week, Tempe launched its application for Section 8 vouchers. Officials expect 10,000 people to apply for 3,000 spots.

Woods says the hope is in the works coming in the form of federal dollars.

“Now we’ve got half a million dollars is going to go to help us accelerate our affordable housing efforts,” he tells Arizona’s Family.

The city says $500,000  will go toward helping develop five parcels of land for future affordable and workforce housing. One of the sites is off Apache Boulevard and the Loop 101.

“They’re talking about right now having 120 affordable apartments on the site, and also 19 affordable homes in partnership with the town community development corporation. A lot of people in our community really desperately need this,” he said. Woods explains that’s just the beginning. He says over a year ago, the city bought the old Food City site near Apache and Dorsey for $10 million with the goal of creating more housing.

“We’re estimating that probably up to 400 affordable units will eventually go on that site,” he said.

But the time of course is a big concern as residents find it challenging to make ends meet now and with many struggling to find a place to live.

“Our hope is within the next couple of years. the reality is the remediation itself takes time on the construction takes time as well. and there have been supply-chain issues. of course, this coming out of the covid 19 pandemic but we’re hoping within the next 18 to 24 months, you’re going to see a lot of these projects begin to come out of the ground, and a lot of much-needed houses for people who really need it,” Woods said.