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State level AdvocaCY

Advocacy is the heart of what we do. We are proud of the power the Coalition’s voice holds at our nation's capitol, our state capitol, and in our communities. 

At the direction of our Board of Directors and Legislative Advocacy Committee, we closely monitor each legislative session and are ready to act to advance sound policies and laws which stem the root causes of homelessness and create more affordable housing opportunities throughout Arizona.

Sign up for our Advocacy Alerts today to stay informed!

FLAGSTAFF AFFORDABLE HOUSING BOND

In the face of the growing affordable housing crisis, our great state also faces a steep state housing wage, as calculated by our friends at the National Low Income Housing Coalition in their annual report, Out of Reach: The High Cost of Housing, released in June. In Arizona, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $960. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities -- without paying more than 30% of income on housing -- a household must earn $3,199 monthly, or $38,390 annually.Assuming the typical American work week of 40 hours, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into Arizona's hourly housing wage of $18.46 per hour -- a wage we know many Arizonans are not seeing.  

In fact, in not a single county in Arizona or across the nation can a full-time minimum wage earner afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent, and in only 22 counties of over 3,000 can he or she afford even a one-bedroom at fair market rent. 


The typical renter in Arizona earns an estimated hourly mean renter wage of $16.54, which is almost $2.00 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest one-bedroom unit. While this may not seem like much, the disparities create housing gaps in our state’s costliest areas to live. 

This affordable housing crunch is most aptly seen in Flagstaff where the 2018 housing wage rose from $19.94 last year to $21.71 per hour, the state’s highest housing wage. Meanwhile, the estimated hourly mean wage in Flagstaff is only $12.37, which is $9.34 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest one-bedroom unit. Citing the Out of Reach report, the Flagstaff City Council approved placing a $25 million affordable housing bond on November's ballot. 

>>> Flagstaff voters, register or update your voter registration TODAY! 

RESTORING THE STATE HOUSING TRUST FUND

The Arizona Housing Coalition is proud to continue its work to fully restore the State Housing Trust Fund. Created in 1988, the State Housing Trust Fund is the only state resource devoted to addressing Arizona’s housing needs. It is funded from the sale of unclaimed property, such as stocks, savings accounts, or real estate abandoned by the owner, often due to death without a will.

The Housing Trust Fund was initially funded by 35% of unclaimed property proceeds, and then increased to 55% to better address rural housing needs. Due to the 2009 recession felt by all, state budgetary cuts forced the State Housing Trust Fund, which used to receive almost $40 million, to be capped at $2.5 million in 2010.

Through the intense advocacy efforts of the Coalition (then AZCEH and the Arizona Housing Alliance), and many others during the 2016 legislative session, we were able to advocate for the diversion of future net earnings from the Arizona Housing Finance Authority single family mortgage program to go to the state housing trust fund. In 2015, these earnings totaled over $2 million, and are expected to grow as the housing market in Arizona continues to recover, which allows for even more opportunity for housing stability for all.
“After eight years of sweeps and cuts to the State Housing Trust Fund, we are thrilled the tides have turned and the first step towards restoring funding has been taken,” said Val Iverson, Executive Director, of the then Arizona Housing Alliance.

“We are thankful to the Governor, and all stakeholders involved, in making this happen,” said Joan Serviss, Executive Director of the then Arizona Coalition to End Homelessness. “How fitting that this funding transfer is included in legislation concerning economic development. Local job growth and a strong economy start at the cornerstone of a home, which we believe is the foundation for the health and general well being of all Arizonans.”

Prior to budget cuts, the Housing Trust Fund acted as a magnet for private investment, leveraged over $350 million in federal dollars annually, and helped 10,000 Arizonans each year avoid homelessness, repair dilapidated homes, and become first time homebuyers. For every $10 million investment in the State Housing Trust Fund, in addition to providing homes for families in need, it could generate $23 million in economic impact and up to 200 jobs each year. It is the goal of the Arizona Housing Coalition and our allies to continue to work towards the full restoration of the State Housing Trust Fund to its pre-recession funds.

The State Housing Trust Fund has helped with:

  • Homes for our most vulnerable populations: Created 250 apartments for those less fortunate, including seniors, people with disabilities, and people who are experiencing homelessness.
  • Disaster-related housing relief: Assisted families displaced by disaster, such as the Yarnell fire victims.
  • Rural homeownership: Helped 230 rural families become homeowners.
  • Homeless prevention programs: Prevented 6,000 Arizonans from experiencing homelessness.
  • Rural home repairs: Repaired 360 rural dilapidated homes, many occupied by the elderly.
  • Emergency shelters: Helped serve 3,000 people in emergency shelters and transitional housing. 
  • Tribal housing: Provided assistance for housing on Arizona’s tribal lands, many with the direst housing needs including lack of water.
Learn more with our Restore Arizona's State Housing Trust Fund Endorsement Packet>>> Updates Coming Soon!

HOW CAN YOU HELP ADDRESS OUR AFFORDABLE HOUSING SHORTAGE?

FIRST AND FOREMOST: BE A VOTER

In the face of the growing affordable housing crisis, it is critical that we advocate as loud as possible, when and where we can, for increased funding for supportive services to help all Arizonans get and maintain safe, stable housing. But the true and lasting power of advocacy and civic engagement is casting your vote at the ballot box.

According to our friends at Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition, 70% of low-income Arizonans are not registered to vote. We're working to change that, along with PAFCO and Our Homes, Our Votes, and you can help by reaching out to friends, neighbors, and allies to make sure they are registered voters, so we can send a strong message to Congress in the next election about our commitment to investments in affordable housing and supportive services and programs. 

GET INVOLVED: Individuals

If you yourself need to register to vote, or update your voter registration, we encourage you to visit Nonprofit VOTE for localized information regarding elections in your community. 

Also as part of Nonprofit VOTE, there is information and resources available for voters with special circumstances, such as voting as an ex-offender, voting while homeless or fleeing domestic violence, and information for voting with a disability and as military or overseas. 

For more information and resources regarding voter registration for yourself, your friends, and neighbors, please visit Nonprofit VOTE. 

REGISTER CLIENTS TO VOTE

According to our friends at Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition, 70% of low-income Arizonans are not registered to vote. We're working to change that, along with PAFCO and Our Homes, Our Votes

Public Housing Agencies, developers or managers of federally subsidized homes, and direct-service agencies working with low-income Arizonans are uniquely situated to help in this effort because voters register using their residential address. 

Nonprofit organizations can, and should, engage in nonpartisan election-related activity, including voter registration, education, and mobilization. The basic rule is that 501(c)(3) organizations cannot in any way support or oppose particular candidates. For detailed legal guidance, you may want to consult Nonprofit VOTE.

WHAT ARE NEXT STEPS?

If you would like to incorporate registration into day-to-day activities that already take place at your agency or conduct voter registration drives, we encourage you to check out the resources available at Our Homes, Our Votes, as well as Nonprofit VOTE

Before your organization begins to register voters, you will want to prepare by setting registration goals and strategy, getting familiar with your local board of elections, and offer registration trainings for those who will be registering voters. 

To get your organization involved with this effort to register low-income Arizonans working with your agency or program, click HERE, or contact Shannon Schell, at shannon@pafcoalition.org.

Arizona Housing Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit
Federal Tax ID#: 86-0909029

AZHC is also the proud home of the 
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(602) 340-9393

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