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Tucson hosts annual Arizona Housing Forum

Arizona Neighborhood
Posted at 5:52 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 09:42:49-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Inside the conference center at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort, around 400 leaders from across Arizona gathered to discuss the topic of housing.

"It's really an opportunity to simply talk about how we build more housing for Arizonans," said Arizona Department of Housing Director, Tom Simplot.

Since the pandemic, the answer hasn't been simple. Simplot said housing is becoming unattainable for the average renter or buyer.

"We have a supply and demand issue in Arizona right now. According to some studies, we need another 150,000 housing units to meet the demand. Until we open up that pipeline and build more units, housing costs are going to continue to increase," said Simplot.

66 affordable housing units recently became available in Tucson. Today, the Storacle Point Apartments are used as an example of how communities across the state can cater to low income families.

"Thanks to a lot of new federal funding through ARP, we have resources now to bring to the table to build more housing," said Simplot.

Simplot said there are also more resources in the state address homelessness. According to the most recent study done in Pima County, nearly 600 people are living without shelter. As community members, Simplot there's one main way to help.

"If folks want to see housing provided for those living on the streets, then we have to give support to those who are making decisions at the local level so that they can make the decisions needed to house people," said Simplot.

The 2021 Arizona Housing Forum is happening August 18-20. The public is invited to tune in to seminars addressing homelessness, online.