Section 8 Housing Vouchers – Arizona

Locked out: Section 8 housing vouchers fail to open doors for low-income renters, By Alden Woods, December 14, 2017, Arizona Republic: “Marcella Landson set aside her Section 8 voucher and stared at the shaded map of Tempe, searching for the right neighborhood. They all seemed the same. She had come to find a home, but couldn’t even figure out where to look.  At the head of a wide conference table in the city library, Tempe Housing Services supervisor Theresa James held up her own copy of the map. About half of the city was shaded in, marking what was described as prosperity and potential. The rest was left empty, filled only by high poverty and unemployment rates. In those areas, schools performed worse. Houses and apartments sagged with age. Rents were low, but opportunities were few…”

Public Housing – Phoenix, AZ

‘It just has to go’: Plans for crumbling Phoenix housing projects threatened by new HUD cuts, By Alden Woods, September 28, 2017, Arizona Republic: “She moved into the projects 32 years ago, eyes wide at everything that had become hers. ‘This is mine,’ Yvonne Bridges remembers whispering back then, as a caseworker wheeled her through the door. ‘Mine,’ she repeated, running a hand over the sweating concrete walls and the vents that blew sticky air. Three decades later, the same concrete walls still surround 88-year-old Bridges. The Edison-Eastlake neighborhood has fallen into disrepair. Thick concrete walls trap in heat that aging swamp coolers can’t dispel, and maintenance teams improvise fixes on 75-year-old parts. For 32 years, Edison-Eastlake crumbled along with so many of America’s public housing projects. Federal money meant to maintain the country’s 1.2 million public housing units was never enough, and a backlog built up. The National Housing Preservation Database now counts more than 84,000 units in need of immediate investment…”

Business in High-Poverty Neighborhoods – Arizona

  • Where the Money Lives: Poor areas of Phoenix offer different business challenges, opportunities, By Mike Sunnucks, November 20, 2015, Phoenix Business Journal: “Kat Proffitt knows how many people perceive the Coronado area of Phoenix, along McDowell Road near 16th Street. ‘They think it’s the ghetto,’ said Proffitt, co-owner of Smooth Brew, a coffee shop at McDowell and 14th Street. ‘They think it’s dangerous.’ Proffitt lives a couple of blocks from where she and partners Clint Coonfer and Darin Toone opened Smooth Brew last May. She insists the neighborhood isn’t as rough as commuters and passers-by might think…”
  • Where the Money Lives: 1 in 5 Arizonans live in poor neighborhoods, By Mike Sunnucks, November 20, 2015, Phoenix Business Journal: “Arizona has some of the poorest ZIP codes in the U.S. and some intense concentrations of poverty. More than one in five Arizonans, 22 percent, live in economically distressed neighborhoods. That is fifth worst among the states, according to the Washington-based Economic Innovation Group…”