Sinema Discusses Solutions to Arizona’s Affordable Housing Shortage with Arizona Department of Housing Director

Mar 17, 2022

Arizona Department of Housing Director Tom Simplot updated Sinema on how the state used funds from the Sinema-shaped American Rescue Plan to support individuals experiencing homelessness

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema spoke with Arizona Department of Housing Director Tom Simplot to discuss the affordable housing shortage in Arizona, and how funds from the American Rescue Plan—legislation Sinema helped shape and pass into law last year—were used to alleviate housing challenges across Arizona.

“Too many Arizonans struggle to find safe, affordable, and available housing. As Arizonans continue experiencing rising prices, I’m committed to working with colleagues in both parties to find solutions that will lower prices and address Arizona’s affordable housing shortage,” said Sinema.

Recently, Sinema announced a new round of Emergency Rental Assistance funds to help struggling Arizonans afford rent and prevent eviction. Chandler and Glendale will receive $623,714.25 and $522,794.13, respectively. The State of Arizona, through the Arizona Department of Economic Development will reallocate $35 million for Phoenix, $6 million for Pima County, and $13 million for Tucson. The funds are part of the second round of reallocations for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, part of which will be reapportioned from a national pool of funds and part of which will be transferred from the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

During the discussion, Simplot provided an update for Sinema as to how the state has utilized funds from the American Rescue Plan to combat Arizona’s housing shortage. Earlier this year, Sinema and Senator Mark Kelly (Ariz.) announced that Hualapai and Yavapai-Apache tribes received $1.6 million in housing grant funds from Indian Community Development Block Grants Program, which provides a range of affordable housing and community development activities on Indian reservations and Indian areas through the American Rescue Plan.

Sinema is also working to expand the supply of affordable housing for Arizonans to address a historic housing shortage. In the recently passed Fiscal Year 2022 annual budget bill, Sinema secured $800,000 for the City of Tucson Willard Apartments, which will allow for the complete remodel of affordable housing units, and $750,000 for the Children’s Home in the Tohono O’odham Nation that will support the construction and development of a permanent children’s home to provide housing, care, and support for children who are in custody of the Nation’s Department of Health and Human Services.

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.