Senator highlighted the affordable housing shortage for Arizona seniors, who are among the most vulnerable to rising prices and rent increases
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke about the need for affordable, available, and accessible housing for Arizona seniors during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
“We have an obligation to ensure that all seniors can retire with dignity and respect… However, far too many seniors in Arizona struggle to find affordable housing, and seniors are among the most vulnerable to rising prices and rent increases,” said Sinema.
The Banking Committee hearing focused on housing for seniors and sought to determine primary needs on the ground. During her remarks, Sinema acknowledged that the high levels of demand far outpace the supply of housing units, which has accelerated the cost of rent. This year, Arizona was short about 270,000 housing units. The accelerated cost of rent is of particular concerns to Arizona seniors, who remain among the most vulnerable to rising prices and rent increases.
Sinema discussed with one of the witnesses, Dr. Jennifer Molinsky – Project Director of the Housing an Aging Society Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University – the most common barriers to allowing seniors to age at home, as well as the health implications of poorly designed homes that cannot meet a senior’s physical ability. Sinema and Dr. Molinsky also assessed the state of public housing stock specifically for Arizona seniors and Arizonans living with disabilities.
Sinema questioned witness Shannon Guzman of AARP about Arizona seniors experiencing homelessness, an issue that Sinema noted has recently been on the rise.
In February, Sinema spoke in a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing about Arizona’s rising rent costs and ongoing affordable housing shortage. During her remarks, Sinema highlighted an Arizona Daily Star report about an out-of-state landlord who raised the rent of his affordable housing complex for seniors—kicking them out when they could not pay.