MAG announces House America goals exceeded
For Immediate ReleaseContact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020
PHOENIX (Feb. 8, 2023) — With thousands of people sleeping on the streets of the Valley every night, the need to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness is urgent. Newly released housing numbers show progress is being made, with a number of identified housing goals reached over the past year.
In June 2022, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) committed to House America, a national initiative to address the issue of homelessness. At that time, MAG set a goal to rehouse 1,225 people and add 300 housing units between September 2021 and December 2022. Throughout the 15 months, local jurisdictions and their partners rehoused 1,268 people across the region and 337 housing units have been added to the development pipeline, exceeding the set goals by 3.5 and 12.3 percent, respectively.
“Solving the complex issue of homelessness will not be easy, but it is in our shared interest to work toward a lasting solution, and programs like House America are helping make a difference in our region,” said Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise. Mayor Weise is chair of the MAG Regional Council, the first Council of Governments in the nation to join House America.
More than 5,600 actively homeless households were recorded in Maricopa County in September 2022, according to the latest Homelessness Trends Report, based on data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). HMIS is a local database where homeless service providers collect client-level data related to housing and services.
“We are especially gratified to see more units being added to the housing inventory through House America,” said MAG Human Services Director Kelli Williams. “This program creates more opportunities to get people experiencing homelessness off the street.”
House America was launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). It has two objectives for lowering the number of people experiencing homelessness: rehousing and creating new affordable housing.
Nationally, the effort housed more than 100,000 households experiencing homelessness and more than 40,000 affordable housing units are slated for development. More than 105 communities across 31 states and territories and the District of Columbia joined the initiative, launched as an all-hands-on-deck effort to address the nation’s homelessness crisis.
House America encouraged communities to deploy a historic level of federal resources to address homelessness. In particular, House America’s 105 communities received a funding boost through the American Rescue Plan Act to expand permanent housing opportunities.