Advocacy is at the heart of what we do, and we are proud of the power and might of the Coalition’s voice at the State Capitol. At the direction of our Board of Directors and 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.
RESTORING THE STATE HOUSING TRUST FUND
The Coalition is also proud to continue our 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 the State Housing Trust Fund to its pre-recession funds.
The State Housing Trust Fund has helped with:
HOW CAN YOU HELP RESTORE ARIZONA'S STATE HOUSING TRUST FUND?