Wed. August 8, 2018
Maricopa County Dept. of Public Health
4041 N. Central Ave. Room 717
Dial-in Number: (605) 472-5814
Access Code: 383-185-253
July 2018 Newslettter
Housing and Homelessness
“Stable, affordable housing is central to the health of individuals, families, and communities.”
- ChangeLab Solutions
The rise in the cost of housing and the resulting decrease in the supply of affordable housing are having a significant impact on homelessness in Arizona and the entire nation. This month we talk about issues and solutions, and present multiple resources to help us work toward change.
The Issue: According to recent article (July 1, 2018) in the Arizona Republic:
- “Metro Phoenix ranked the 9th most unaffordable city for renters nationally, according to a SmartAsset study.”
- "Metro Phoenix renters need to earn about $19.50 an hour to afford a decent two-bedroom apartment. The typical Valley renter earns $17.59 an hour, according to a new study from the National Low Income Housing Coalition."
- "Flagstaff renters have it the worst. In the northern Arizona city, renters need to earn $21.71 an hour, a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. The city's estimated typical hourly wage is $12.37, according to the report."
- “The lack of stable, affordable housing can result in the loss of employment, affect health and academic achievement, increase evictions and lead to homelessness.”
(Photo: Getty Images)
The Impact: In a recent KJZZ interview (July 5 2018), Lisa Glow, CEO of CASS (Central Arizona Shelter Services) stated the following regarding homelessness: "To put it in context, there's a need for 200,000 affordable units (in Arizona). So for every 100 low income earners or people who are looking for affordable housing, there are 20 units available."
- "Arizona has the second highest eviction rate in the country. So as rents rise, even people who are working can't afford their rents. We see a lot of people at our emergency shelter or homeless shelter who've been evicted."
- "…in Maricopa County, the number has gone up every year by 25 to 27 percent for the last three years. So in real numbers, that's around 6,200, but the number is probably more like 15,000 people who are homeless."
(Photo: Patrick Breen/The Republic)
“So real people, who are working, senior citizens who don't have the resources, veterans — it's a matter of our humanity with our homeless neighbors. We need to understand who they are. We need to take the time to care.” Lisa Glow explained.
Affordable Housing Initiatives in Arizona
Last month's newsletter focused on Community Land trusts, Community Benefits Agreements and Environmental Impact Bonds. During the discussion of Community Land Trusts (CLTs), it was pointed out that one of the functions of CLTs is to to provide affordable housing for households which meet the required income standards.
Building on that theme, the July Newsletter highlights 2 Arizona Community Land Trusts that are providing low cost housing – Newtown Community Development Corporation in Mesa and the City of Flagstaff Community Land Trust in Flagstaff. Newtown CDC CLT is a private non-profit corporation, whereas the Flagstaff CLT is a local government agency.
Newtown Community Development Corporation, Community Land Trust
Tempe Micro Estates
(Renderings, Tempe Micro Estates)
"The goal for this project is to create a small-house neighborhood of affordable homes with convenient access to light rail and the future Tempe Streetcar, as well as other amenities, all within Newtown’s community land trust. It is hoped this project will become a replicable model for future infill development in other places throughout valley."
"These homes are designed for maximum flexibility, allowing for affordable, high-quality housing for artists, healthcare, restaurant, and service workers who are on the low- to moderate-income scale. Targeting people who may work in Tempe but who otherwise cannot afford to purchase a home here. The goal is to balance the pros and cons of traditional tiny-home developments with the current demand we’re seeing from our clients."
"Homes will be lofted one-bedroom, one bath, and 600-square feet with a full-size appliance kitchen. Each home will have a small private yard, and a small front porch that overlooks a community garden and grounds featuring lush, Sonoran desert-friendly landscape design. All owners will share a large common house that includes the laundry facility with a laundry-to-landscape greywater system, a community kitchen, rainwater harvesting cistern, and more."
City of Flagstaff Land Trust Program
The Flagstaff Community Land Trust is a housing program of the City of Flagstaff. It is used as a tool to help provide housing opportunities to Flagstaff residents who may not have the means to own a home.
The program is designed to help first-time homebuyers by reducing the cost of housing. The long-term affordability of the unit is maintained because the homeowner accepts less equity creation and appreciation in exchange for the assistance in buying the home. The homebuyer only purchases the house and improvements, while leasing the land from the City through a 99-year renewable lease.
(Housing in the Rio Homes community)
The Community Land Trust Program of the City of Flagstaff is a tool to assist in meeting the needs of the community through the provision of housing for its workforce. This is accomplished by reducing the cost of obtaining housing by retaining control of the land and selling the improvements for less than they would cost on the open market. The program will provide an alternative to renting for households that have been priced out of the traditional market.
The City of Flagstaff has been using the Community Land Trust Program to realize affordable, owner-occupied housing for more than a decade. The city has 25 units as part of its land trust program, ranging from townhomes to detached single family homes. The selling prices range from about $135,000 to $168,000 for the two- and three-bedroom units, said Justyna Costa, the city’s housing manager.
The homes can be priced more affordably because the land continues to be owned by the city and leased back to the homeowner on a 99-year renewable lease, Costa said. Property taxes are also less because they are based only on the home. Resale price is capped, however, to maintain ongoing affordability.
(Site plan for Rio Homes, east of Lone Tree Road & north of I-40)
“We feel our program is perfect for people who want a middle ground between rental and homeownership. It's not for everyone, though,” Costa said. Owners have to be willing to live with certain restrictions on their home and with getting a more limited amount of equity from the house when they sell it, for example.
The city will be looking to expand its number of land trust units in the coming years in response to a goal set by the Flagstaff City Council to double the city’s current inventory of affordable rental and ownership housing, Costa said.
She called land trusts "the most effective model for attaining affordable units for workforce housing."
The city doesn’t keep a waitlist for its land trust homes because it isn't often that people move out. But Costa said she expects the city will start taking down names if and when it starts developing new units.
Arizona Housing Publication
Preserving and Expanding Mobile/Manufactured Home Communties:
An Afforable Housing Solution
Arizona Housing Alliance, Mobile Home Working Group, January, 2017
Mobile home parks provide an important source of affordable housing for many low and moderate income Arizonans. According to the 2010 Census, 10.1% of Arizona’s occupied housing units are mobile homes. In December 2015, Arizona Housing Alliance (now the Arizona Housing Coalition) created a Mobile Home Working Group (MHWG) to look at the issues surrounding distressed mobile home parks and to identify strategies that can be implemented to alleviate the hardship to residents of these parks
The first step of the MHWG was to review Taking Stock of Arizona’s Distressed Mobile Home Parks – A Pilot Study, prepared by ESI Corporation in 2001. The report, funding by a grant from the Arizona Department of Commerce, studied mobile home parks in three communities, Prescott, Tucson, and Yuma, and developed a set of strategies to address the physical, neighborhood, and social impacts of distressed mobile home parks.
(Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star)
The second step was to identify key issues affecting distressed mobile home parks. The list was sorted into four categories: Resources, Community Engagement, Legal, and Research. A committee was formed for each category and MHWG participants volunteered to work on their committee of interest. Over the next six months the four committees met and identified the issues within their area and potential solutions to these issues. This report is a compilation of the work of the committees and the MHWG.
The Office of Manufactured Housing will be moving from the Arizona Department of Fire, Building, and Life Safety to the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH). It is the hope of the MHWG that this move will propel renewed interest in the issues surrounding distressed mobile home parks and their preservation as an important source of affordable housing in Arizona. The MHWG hopes this report will be a valuable resource for ADOH as they move forward with strategies around distressed mobile home parks.
New National Initiative
American Planning Association's Housing Initiative:
Today's housing challenges demand new tools and better planning. The housing options we plan for today will foster the homes that families will grow, thrive, and dream in tomorrow. APA conceived Planning Home, an organization-wide initiative, to reshape the way planning is used to address America's housing affordability crisis. We challenge planners, developers, policy makers, and advocates to think bigger — to change state laws, improve local practices, convene to address pressing problems, and reimagine ways to engage with communities and reach solutions together.
Six principles underlie APA's action agenda to alleviate the nation’s housing affordability crisis.
1. Modernize State Planning Laws
Update state laws to promote local planning efforts and provide housing resources to solve our most pressing affordability challenges.
2. Reform Local Codes
Modernize codes and rules to respond to the growing need for more housing — no matter the type or cost.
3. Promote Inclusionary Growth
Provide everyone with a fair opportunity to access affordable housing and economic prosperity, while addressing the effects of gentrification.
4. Remove Barriers to Multifamily Housing
Adopt local plans that not only expand family housing choices but also make them easier and more affordable to access.
5. Turn NIMBY Into YIMBY
Transform community engagement and involve everyone in the planning process from the start.
6. Rethink Finance
Promote innovative thinking about how to fund affordable housing in the future.
Need something to read? National Publications
OUT of REACH – The High Cost of Housing
National Low Income Housing Coalition, 2018
NLIHC’s annual report, Out of Reach, documents the gap between wages and the cost of rental housing across the United States. The report’s Housing Wage is an estimate of the hourly wage a full-time worker must earn to afford a rental home at HUD’s fair market rent (FMR) without spending more than 30% of his or her income on housing costs. FMRs provide an estimate of what a family moving today can expect to pay for a modestly priced rental home in a given area. This year’s findings demonstrate how far out of reach modestly priced housing is for the growing low-wage work force, despite recent wage growth, and for other vulnerable populations across the country.
Yes In My Backyard - How States and Local Communities Can Find Common Ground in Expanding Housing Choice and Opportunity
Stockton Williams, Lisa Sturtevant, and Rosemarie Hepner, Urban Land Institute, 2017
Rising housing costs are creating hardships for millions of households and taking a toll on economic growth and productivity. One major reason for the worsening housing affordability problem is that we are simply not building enough housing as a nation, especially in the job-rich regions where housing demand is greatest.
The 2018 national Housing Wage is $22.10 for a modest two-bedroom rental home and $17.90 for a modest one-bedroom rental home. Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the two-bedroom Housing Wage ranges from $13.84 in Arkansas to $36.13 in Hawaii. The five metropolitan areas with the highest two-bedroom Housing Wages are Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($38.19), Honolulu, HI ($39.06), Oakland-Fremont, CA ($44.79), San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($48.50), and San Francisco, CA ($60.02).
A full-time worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 needs to work approximately 122 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year, or approximately three full-time jobs, to afford a two-bedroom rental home at the national average fair market rent. The same worker needs to work 99 hours per week for all 52 weeks of the year, or approximately two and a half full-time jobs, to afford a one-bedroom home at the national average fair market rent.
Local zoning and land use regulations, and the related development review processes, make it increasingly difficult to build new housing in many communities, leading to inadequate housing supply and higher housing costs. Edward Glaeser, a Harvard economist and ULI trustee, recently noted:Reforming local land use controls is one of those rare areas in which the libertarian and the progressive agree. The current system restricts the freedom of the property owner and also makes life harder for poorer Americans. The politics of zoning reform may be hard, but our land use regulations are badly in need of rethinking.
Some communities are, in fact, trying to reduce the regulatory burden on housing development. Austin, Minneapolis, and San Diego are among cities that recently have reduced fees, streamlined approvals, and provided incentives to encourage construction and rehabilitation. ULI district councils are encouraging local officials in a number of other cities to follow their lead.
Preserving, Protecting, and Expanding Affordable Housing
– A Policy Toolkit for Public Health
Allison Allbee, Rebecca Johnson, Jeffrey Lubell, ChangeLab Solutions, 2015
Practitioners and community advocates working at the intersection of housing and health have a unique role to play, both in guaranteeing quality affordable housing remains available for people of all incomes, and in making sure new investments in neighborhoods contribute to a healthy environment. This guide provides information about a range of policies to preserve and expand the number of affordable rental housing options in high-demand neighborhoods.
To support the efforts of local practitioners and advocates, this guide includes the following information:
What’s the Connection? Rising Rents, Neighborhood Change, and Health
An overview of how renewed interest in urban centers is affecting housing affordability.
How Do Rising Housing Costs Affect Health?
A summary of the research linking rising housing costs to poor health outcomes.
What’s the Strategy?
A set of key recommendations communities should consider as part of an overall approach to preserving, protecting, and enhancing affordable housing.
A library of local housing policies and strategies that communities can use to ensure the availability of affordable housing options, with a particular focus on rental affordability. The toolkit identifies strategies across six policy areas to help ensure that households of all incomes can continue to find affordable housing in high-demand neighborhoods: preservation, protection, inclusion, revenue generation, incentives, and property acquisition.
Active Design, Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing
OCAD University, Georgia Institute of Technology, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Active Design Supplement: Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing, 2013.
Given the current lack of safe opportunities for physical activity in many low-income neighborhoods, as well as limitations on time and resources, it is more important than ever to design affordable housing that supports active play and physical activity.
Drawing from the expanding evidence-base, Affordable Designs for Affordable Housing focuses on feasible, low-cost ways to implement Active Design in affordable housing developments across the United States. This publication presents 11 case studies across 3 U.S. cities - New York, San Antonio, and Atlanta - that explore the means and costs of applying Active Design in family-focused affordable housing developments and provides concrete examples and analysis of how simple, low- to no-cost design changes can help encourage active living amongst affordable housing residents of all ages.
By implementing Active Design strategies, developers, architects, planners, and building owners can help combat the current epidemics of obesity and related chronic diseases. We recognize collaborations such as these are essential to create healthier, more sustainable communities.
Quick Reads - More Housing Articles
Housing for All?
Debbie Sullivan Reslock, AICP, APA Planning Magazine, Feb. 2016
This article discusses the homeless problem and the factors that contribute to the problem. Examples of potential responses are discussed including the use of tiny homes and tent cities.
Tiny Houses – Niche or Noteworthy
Anne Wyatt, APA Planning Magazine, Feb. 2016
“The tiny house movement is definitely worth a closer look. Tiny house living offers a wealth of potential benefits and solution to a range of housing challenges; they are more economical and sustainable than conventional housing and add to the range of housing choices.”
Urbanists, Architects Say Backyard Cottages Are a Must in Affordable Housing Push
By Josh Cohen, October 30, 2017, NextCity
Seattle City Council Member Mike O’Brien wants to make it easier for homeowners to build backyard cottages and basement apartments. In the midst of a housing affordability crisis spurred on, in part, by a greater demand for housing than available supply, using excess basement and yard space to create new homes makes sense. One of the priority recommendations from the city’s 2015 Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda was reduction of regulatory barriers for building attached and detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs and DADUs).
Fighting for Affordable Housing – Case Study
Amanda Abrams, Urban Land Institute, Spring 2018
Arguments about how to create and maintain affordable housing are often fierce and intractable. This is true in growing – and gentrifying – communities across the United States, and the nation’s capital is no exception. Consider the saga of a redevelopment plan for Brookland Manor, an expansive housing complex in Washington, D.C., that has provided affordable housing for 40 years.
Innovating to Meet the Need for Attainable Housing – Case Study
Patrick J. Kiger, Urban Land Institute, Spring 2018
Situated 12 miles from downtown Austin, Texas, developer Brookfield Residential’s Easton Park is one of the places where the real estate industry is figuring out how to provide housing that people of modest means can afford.
Conferences and Workshops
90th Annual Arizona Public Health Association Conference
October 3, 2018
AZ Chapter of the American Planning Association Conference
November 7-9, 2018
Arizona Housing Coalition Annual Statewide Conference
November 13-14, 2018
AZ Department of Agriculture 2019 Arizona Food Summit
January 8-9, 2019
Project for Public Spaces
September 16-19, 2018
New Orleans, LA
Pushing the Boundaries of Population Health Science: Social Inequalities, Biological Processes, and Policy Implications
Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science
October 3–5, 2018
Evidence for Action: Encouraging Innovation and Improvement
Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
November 8–10, 2018
National Housing Conference
Solutions for Affordable Housing
America Walks! Webinars
Register now for the remaining 2018 webinars to make sure you don't miss the expert speakers, new resources and toolkits, and exciting projects in walkable communities across the US we will be sharing.
Act Fast: The Growing Call for Slower Speeds (August 8)- Register Here
Every community member has a right to safe places to walk and be physically active. Unfortunately, the rise in pedestrian fatalities in recent years reminds us that our work in protecting that right is far from done. Hear from those leading the call for slower speeds and communities putting people first in the call for safer streets.
Pedestrians Are People Too: The Criminalization of Walking (September 12)- Register Here
Walking is the original form of transportation and yet too often it is forgotten in planning, promotion, and protection. Equally concerning is the increased messaging around victim-blaming, distracted walking legislation, and other moves to criminalize walking. This webinar will explore the criminalization in walking and the responsibility we all have in supporting a culture of safe and accessible walkability.
Walk into Action: Walking and Walkability Policy Issues (October 10)- Register Here
The 2018 election is right around the corner and at America Walks, walking and walkability are ballot issues. Learn about how you can use your vote to support walking and walkability by engaging communities and local elected officials on a variety of intersecting issues.
Where Do We Go Next? Mapping and Tracking in the Future (November 14)- Register Here
You can't improve what you don't measure. Advancements in technology have allowed for increased reporting, tracking, and mapping of data and information that can help communities improve walkability. Learn about some of the sources of data and how they are being used to promote walking and improve walkability.
On a Sustainable Path: The Role of Walkability in Addressing Climate Change (December 12)- Register Here
Transportation accounted for over a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions in the US in 2016. Creating opportunities for walking and other forms of active transportation can help lower that number and create opportunities to address climate change both within the US and around the world. This webinar will explore the role walkability can and should play in the fight for sustainability.
Council of Development Finance Agencies
The Developer’s Perspective in Financing Brownfield Projects - September 6, 2018 2:00 - 3:30 PM
The developer of a brownfields redevelopment brings important resources to the project, including private capital and managing risks. However, because brownfields projects are often very complex, the developer will often need support from the public sector in order to see a project to completion. During this webinar, hear the developer’s perspective in the deal, including how they assemble their capital stack and negotiate with the public sector to maximize investment in the site and as well as surrounding properties. Join CDFA, our technical partners, and experienced brownfield communities as we discuss how to negotiate with developers and involve them in a broader brownfields strategy.
This webcast is designed for professionals who work directly with brownfield sites as well as economic development professionals and communities interested in shaping programs to enhance redevelopment financing opportunities. Registration is free and open to all interested stakeholders.