New housing voucher program for Arizona renters starts in October

The goal is to give families more options to live in competitive rental markets like Phoenix.
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 12:17 PM MST|Updated: Oct. 3, 2023 at 1:16 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — The Department of Housing and Urban Development is making $113 million available for a housing choice voucher program aimed at helping low-income families.

As evictions continue to rise, especially here in Maricopa County, folks can utilize more aid from the 2024 housing voucher program starting Oct. 1. This should allow more renters to keep up with rising rent as the program also increases the maximum amount a voucher can have, for those using the program. HUD reported a 12% rent increase nationwide, and fewer people are using the vouchers in recent years, so the department made available $113 million to the housing choice voucher fund.

The goal is to give families more options to live in competitive rental markets like Phoenix. Rental expert Jon Leckie says that from August to February, it’s normal to see dips in demand to rent in the Valley. He also says that from pre-pandemic to May 2022, rent rates have risen by about $600 a month.

“That $600 differential is really double what we have seen in most markets, certainly at the national level,” he says. “Median rents rose about $300 during that period, and that represents a 37% increase in prices in just three years; that’s pretty extreme.”

The median rent price in metro Phoenix is still a little over $2,100, and Leckie says that’s actually higher than the national median — just over $2,000. Leckie also explains that because of the consistent trend in higher rent rates, the market has effectively established a new pricing floor instead of seeing a drop or reprieve for renters in the near future.

So, if you need extra money to try and reach your rent needs in the Valley, the 2024 housing voucher program’s new funding goes into effect on Oct. 1.

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