Housing at a Crossroads: Solving Our Housing Challenges

State of Our State 2020

Monday, Nov. 23, 2020

Since 2010, ASU's Morrison Institute for Public Policy has gathered Arizonans to discuss critical state issues and policy choices on those topics. We're thrilled you're experiencing the 2020 State of Our State convening, "Housing at a Crossroads: Solving Our Housing Challenges." Local and national housing experts explore solutions to Arizona’s affordable housing challenges and discuss strategies to increase housing security during the pandemic.

Watch the recording

A recording of the event is available here: https://video.ibm.com/recorded/128647971 

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News coverage of the event:

Event Schedule

Welcome - Mary Pahissa Upchurch, Chair, Morrison Institute Board of Advisors

Recent Morrison Institute Research Highlights [slides] - Andrea Whitsett, Director, Morrison Institute

Presentation of the Sue Clark-Johnson Leadership Award to Betsey Bayless

Click here to share a personal note of congratulations with Betsey.

"A Significant Test of Economic Adaptivity: Positioning Arizona for a Stronger Comeback" [slides] - Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University

"Arizona's Economy and Housing Market" - Dennis Hoffman, Director, L. William Seidman Research Institute at the ASU W. P. Carey School of Business

"Housing, the Pandemic, and People of Color" [slides] - Michael Neal, Senior Research Association, Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute

Panel Discussion: "Identifying Solutions to Arizona's Housing Affordability and Security Challenges"

Scroll down to find housing security and affordability solutions statements from each of the panelists.

During this part of the event, please use Zoom's Q&A function to submit questions to the panelists.

  • Moderator: Catherine Reagor, Senior Real Estate/Housing Journalist, The Arizona Republic/azcentral.com
  • Panelist: David Adame, President & CEO, Chicanos Por La Causa
  • Panelist: Sally Schwenn, Arizona Market President, Gorman & Co.
  • Panelist: Joan Serviss, Executive Director, Arizona Housing Coalition
  • Panelist: Tania Simms, Executive Director, Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity
  • Panelist: Cynthia Zwick, Executive Director, Wildfire

Closing - Jonathan Koppell, Dean, ASU Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions

Housing Affordability and Security Solutions Statements

Morrison Institute's director and the housing experts taking part in the State of Our State panel discussion wrote about solutions for housing affordability and security that they would like to see implemented in Arizona. Read their thoughts below.

Whitsett and Report Cover

A call to action for all of us on housing

From Morrison Institute for Public Policy Director Andrea Whitsett: "We need to examine our housing policies and also scrutinize the subtler social and economic factors that contribute to precarious housing situations such as the costs of childcare, the availability of transportation, and access to educational opportunities."

David Adame and Statement Cover

Home stability relies on changing policies, new approaches to underserved communities

From David Adame, president and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa: "But there is a larger game plan at play. We must tackle institutional inequities in place and in practice in Arizona and U.S. housing. CPLC is advocating for Source of Income Laws that increase the availability of rental units to voucher holders. We also seek Small Area Fair Market Rents to replace the current General Fair Market Rents structure."

Sally Schwenn and Report Cover

We need a state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program in Arizona

From Sally Schwenn, Arizona Market President, Gorman & Co.: "State-level low-income housing tax credits are a rising tide. They lift all boats. They create opportunities for developers, both for-profit and non-profit, that would not otherwise exist; they buoy the state’s economy; they aid businesses that invest in Arizona; and, most importantly, they create desirable places for people to live without overburdening their finances."

Joan Serviss and Report Cover

Arizona needs to restore its Housing Trust Fund

From Joan Serviss, executive director of the Arizona Housing Coalition: "It’s time for us to restore the fund back to the 55% unclaimed property proceeds allocation. With this allocation restored, the Arizona Department of Housing will be able to prevent more people from falling into homelessness, help more rural residents become homeowners, assist families displaced by wildfires and other disasters, and repair more homes where elderly people reside."

Tania Simms and Statement Cover

A little help can often go a long way

From Tania Simms, executive director of Verde Valley Habitat for Humanity: "Critical home repair programs, like the one we run at Verde Valley Habitat, are excellent tools to keep people in their homes. But they can be improved and expanded. In particular, municipal governments would benefit from more funding for this type of work, which could come from a more robust Arizona Housing Trust Fund." 

Zwick and Report Cover

Put aside system preservation, focus on greater community health

From Cynthia Zwick, executive director of Wildfire: "We need to put aside system preservation and focus on greater community health. The pandemic has taken so much, but perhaps it can give us the opportunity to see what we can do together to create an Arizona where all can thrive and where we can ignite change to end poverty."

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