Report: Arizona has affordable housing shortage for low-income renters
PHOENIX — There’s a shortage of affordable and available homes for extremely low-income renters in Arizona, according to a new report.
The report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Arizona Housing Coalition shows there are just 26 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 households with extremely low incomes.
These include renters with incomes at or below the poverty level.
“What that means is that about 75% of renters are extremely low-income and may not be able to make next month’s rent, so they’re cost-burdened and they’re at risk of homelessness,” Joan Serviss, executive director of the Arizona Housing Coalition, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
It’s not just an issue affecting Arizona. Nationwide, there are just 37 affordable and available rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renters.
Serviss added this is hitting southwestern states, like Arizona, the hardest.
“That’s because we’ve had a lot of migration to our state and neighboring states,” she said. “We’re also seeing a significant amount of some of the cheap affordable homes that once were being gobbled up by investors.”
She also pointed out housing programs are not fully funded and there’s a need for diverse housing stock.
“We need to have housing of all types and at all income levels,” she said. “But unfortunately, families that are extremely low-income are in competition with middle-income families.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also made matters worse. Serviss said the pandemic has disproportionately hit low-income families, especially families of color.
“They’re struggling to make rent,” she said. “We do have some emergency rental assistance passed at the federal and local levels that has helped.”
“But we need a long-lasting, none-emergency response. We need an ongoing federal investment and we also need a state investment.”