Ann Chanecka, Deputy Director Tucson Housing and Community Development, spoke at the Democrats of Greater Tucson meeting on March 8, 2021. She described numerous projects tackling: Poverty rates, low incomes, and economic disparities; Education and economic mobility, Health disparities, Homelessness, Housing instability and Neighborhood inequities.

In terms of Public Housing, the city has:

  • 550 Multifamily units for Older Adults and Persons with Disabilities
  • 452 Multifamily units for Families
  • 503 Single-Family Properties

The City manages more than 6,000 Section 8 Vouchers, which allow individuals and families to pay 30-40% of their income on rent, and 451 Affordable Housing units.

In 2020, Housing and Community Development received $23 million in COVID-19 relief funds to assist Tucsonans affected by the pandemic. The funds were used to provide shelter for 984 people and to connect 300+ homeless people to permanent housing.

“We were able to give direct financial assistance to 1,700 households for rent and utility payments to families impacted by the pandemic,” she said.

The Tucson mayor and council in January adopted the People, Communities, and Homes Investment Plan or P-CHIP for short. It sets the roadmap for the department for the next five years. The 147-page plan highlights some startling statistics about homelessness, poverty, and inequity.

The City of Tucson, Pima County, and the Economic and Business Research Center at the University of Arizona have collaborated to study housing and neighborhood vulnerability within the City of Tucson and Pima County. The goal of the first phase of this study is to identify “vulnerable,” or stressed, neighborhoods within our region by compiling a Neighborhood Vulnerability Index.

Tucson has an eviction rate of  6.03% (U.S.:  2.34%), totaling 13,000 evictions in 2018. The Tucson and Pima County Eviction Prevention/Emergency Rent and Utility Relief Program has numerous programs to help people needing assistance, Chanecka said.