Successful affordable housing program to continue expansion throughout Maricopa County

new neighborhood

By Joan Jacobson

October 25, 2023

While Arizona continues to struggle with an affordability crisis, one successful housing program that’s helped over 1,000 Valley families has been given the green light to expand its efforts.

Arizona’s Threshold plan has already found homes for 1,250 households, thanks to a $5 million investment from the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Since launching the program in May 2022, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved an additional $2.5 million to grow the program and keep it running through June 2025.

Easing the housing crisis

In May 2022, advocates for both those experiencing homelessness and landlords in Maricopa County joined forces to unclog the bottleneck of people searching for dwellings in the increasingly expensive housing market.

In a plan that helped the unhoused and landlords alike, they devised “Threshold,” an unprecedented collaboration of several sectors:

Public: The Maricopa County Human Services Department

Private: HOM Inc.

Property Owners: Arizona Multihousing Association

Hundreds of landlords were offered financial incentives to rent to displaced people, including families with children, the working poor, and others with housing challenges.

All they needed was the money to pay for it.

Funding boost from Biden Administration

That’s where ARPA came in – with $5 million. With funding from ARPA, Threshold has been able to provide:

  • Rental homes for 1,250 households
  • Homes throughout Maricopa County in 16 cities
  • Rentals for under $1500 a month
  • $1 million to augment rents

Help for the unhoused and landlords

The ARPA funding helps landlords as well as unhoused people. Threshold’s cash incentives meet landlords’ economic needs, and ARPA-funded rent subsidies help the unhoused find and rent safe, comfortable housing they otherwise might not be able to afford.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of available units since the program started two years ago, said Daniel Davis, Threshold’s administrator and director of landlord relations for HOM, Inc. And without the support of federal funds through the ARPA, Davis said he doesn’t believe Threshold would have had the resources to match so many unhoused Arizonans with homes and subsidies for landlords.

Author

  • Joan Jacobson

    Joan Jacobson is a long-time journalist who has covered housing, neighborhoods, gentrification, and poverty programs. She has also written research studies about the high price of drinking water, vacant house programs, and a tax sale system that confiscates homes when owners can’t pay their taxes.

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