U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development

Consolidated Plan Contact


Phoenix was incorporated in 1881 evolving from an agrarian community into a large metropolitan center with manufacturing, tourism and government sector adding significantly to the City's job base. Its population has expanded from 5,000 in 1900 to 1,061,660 in 1995. From 1945 to 1990, the City rose from 99th to 9th in population rank among the Nation's cities. Some of the major factors that influenced this growth are the completion of the Roosevelt Dam leading to a stabilization of the water supply; pleasant year-round climate, and the onset of World War II when military airfields and other related facilities were located in Maricopa County.

Action Plan

City's community development objectives are based on a philosophy of focusing limited resources on concentrated areas targeted for revitalization and referred to as Neighborhood Initiative Areas (NIAs). There are five such areas where the City will concentrate its resources in the form of housing rehabilitation, neighborhood economic development, and infrastructure improvement and other related efforts. Over $22 million in formula funding is expected to be available to the City to undertake such actions as assistance to over 650 low and moderate income homeowners for housing rehabilitation; to 150 low income persons for the development of rental housing and homebuyer assistance to 360 low and moderate income families. Additionally, $4 million is committed to the NIAs for comprehensive revitalization.

Citizen Participation

Two public forums were held to solicit citizen comments. This input and the information from the City's various housing and social service agencies were utilized in the development of the Consolidated Plan. There was also a 30 day public review period and a public hearing jointly sponsored by the Phoenix Commissions on Housing and Neighborhoods and Human Services to solicit comments on the draft plan.


Population diversification continues as the minority population grew to 28.2% of the total population with Hispanics representing the largest portion of that growth. The City's median income for a family of four is $41,800. and for the very low income family it is $20,900 or 50% of the median income. Twenty-three percent of Phoenix households have incomes at or below 50% of the median income with minority household incomes representing 40% of the very low income group.

The housing construction industry has been able to keep up with the City population growth and remains a vital job producing sector. The greater Phoenix area also ranked first in the Nation for new job creation with over half of the jobs created by small businesses. There are approximately 50,000 small businesses in Phoenix with less than 100 employees.



A major trend affecting the availability of affordable housing is the number of service sector jobs that are being produced and the ability of persons in lower payment employment to afford to pay for their housing. In Arizona, 27% of the new jobs paid at least 30% less than the overall average wage.

Lower wages coupled with the fact that rents have been rising as vacancy rates fall from a high of 17% in 1988 to the current rate of 3% puts affordable housing at a premium particularly for low income families.

Housing Needs

Phoenix defines a housing problem as meeting the Census definition of having a physical defect, overcrowding and/or cost burden, which is when a household pays more than 30% of its income on housing. It is a severe cost burden when a household pays more than 50% of its income on housing. The City estimates that 66,901 of the 85,858 low income households have one or more housing problems. Clearly, low income households have the largest share of housing problems. For example: Of City's 53,983 low income renter households, 28,962 earned less than 30% of adjusted family median income. And, of that number, 80% had one or more housing problems, 76% were cost burdened and 64% severely cost burdened and of the 76% cost burdened renter, an astonishing 84% were actually paying greater than 50% of their income on rent and utilities.

Overcrowding also was a bigger problem among low income renter households, particularly among large families. In the 0-30% income group, 79.3 live in overcrowded conditions and 71.5% of the large family renters in the 31-50% income group also living in overcrowded conditions.

The most recent study, "The 1980 Housing Condition Evaluation" the City concluded that approximately 31% of the City's total housing stock could be considered substandard which was defined as a unit having more than one violation of the building code. The study also concluded that 97% of its substandard units was suitable for rehabilitation. The City is currently conducting a new study and it will be available in mid-1995. The City's property maintenance ordinance (PMO) provides another indication of the condition of its housing stock. In 1993-1994 alone, there were 20,077 PMO violations, indicating in part the poor conditions of property within Phoenix. The high number of PMO violations cited from 1989 through 1994 is a major public concern.

Housing Market Conditions

At the time of the 1990 Census there were 422,036 housing units in Phoenix with 59% of the units owner occupied. The physical condition of the City's total housing stock is a concern with a significant portion considered substandard.

After remaining flat for many years, rents rose by 6.2% in 1993 to 7% in 1994. Vacancy rates have now fallen to 3% from a high of 17% in 1988. Added to this trend is the observation that too many new jobs tend to be lower paying service sector positions. Housing affordability will suffer if rents continue to increase and incomes do not keep pace.

The oversupply of multifamily housing helped to maintain the affordability of housing for renter household earning above 65% of the median income. That trend continues with the new units being currently produced. The market, however, has failed to provide affordable housing for the low income population.

The median single family home resale price in the Phoenix area has remained relatively affordable at $83,000. This represents an increase of 27.7% from the 1982 sales price of $65,000. The median price for a new home has recently risen significantly from a price of $108,000 in 1992 to $130,000. in 1994.

Affordable Housing Needs

To reiterate early points made in the above housing need section, there is a lack of affordable and decent housing for the City's low income population with cost burden particularly severe for this income group.

Homeless Needs

Maricopa County's Social Services Department provides a tracking system for some programs in the County funded through federally assisted Homeless services and in 1994 registered approximately 8,393 homeless persons. Of those registered, 86% were individuals with 74% being male. 27% of the homeless are 19 years or younger and 37%, the highest percent of homeless, are between the ages of 20 to 34 years old. Phoenix has a total capacity of 3,413 shelter beds in 49 facilities within the City.

According to a City police count, there are approximately 300, plus or minus on any given night, unsheltered homeless in the downtown area. Phoenix hotline is a 24-hour service that maintains a day to day inventory of available shelter beds at the major shelters and refers calls for assistance to the shelters with vacancies. From 1993 to 1994, the hotline received 18,929 calls and of these 80% were first-time callers. One out of every eight calls was related to domestic violence. The average percentage of homeless families and domestic violence victims unable to obtain emergency shelter the same day as on their call was 78% to 59%, respectively. There are only three domestic violence shelters in Phoenix with a total of 60 beds for emergency purposes and 32 beds for transitional housing purposes. This total of 92 beds make up less than 3% of shelter beds available in Phoenix.

COMCARE, the regional health entity, successfully placed 525 seriously mentally ill persons living on the streets into housing. Homeless providers estimate that anywhere from 20% to 50% of homeless individuals are seriously mentally ill. During 1994, there were between 689 and 880 unsheltered homeless persons who were both seriously mentally ill and addicted to alcohol or drugs in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Phoenix has no systematic screening for homeless persons with HIV/AIDS. Estimates are that 15% of homeless individuals are HIV-infected. There are only 3 agencies that provide emergency/transitional housing to this special needs group. One agency has 20 beds at its facility and services approximately 95 to 110 clients per year. This agency estimates that the need for emergency/transitional housing the HIV/AIDS homeless is 130 to 170 per year.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

Phoenix's public housing inventory consists of 2,333 public housing units and administers a total of 4,500 Section 8 units. The City is the location of a substantial number of housing developments that are privately owned and benefit the elderly, handicapped and low income families. These projects are assisted through HUD housing programs, such as Sections 202, 236, 811 and 23. Moreover, through its General Obligation Bond Affordable Housing Program the City has acquired and rehabilitated multifamily rental housing, resulting in seven complexes with a total of 596 units.

Despite these substantial numbers of subsidized housing, the public housing waiting list for assisted housing is continuously open. As of December 1994, there were 27,030 households waiting for assisted housing. The City estimates that the total rental subsidy need for low income households will increase by 4,883 households over the next five years. Phoenix states that there is also a need to modify its assisted housing units to provide accessibility to disabled persons and that low income small families have the largest number of households needing housing assistance of any of the designated groups.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

At the public hearings, citizens expressed a need for more affordable permanent housing. Relatively high construction costs and the lack of tax breaks result in units produced through new construction being available to higher income renters. Rents are expected to rise significantly in the next two to four years. This would aggravate the demand for affordable housing, particularly if the majority of the employment created in Phoenix are low paying, service-oriented jobs.

Stronger banking regulations has resulted in the tightening of credit, especially for multifamily residential projects. Several of the City's affordable housing projects have been unable to attain the needed financing to produce the units. The tight credit situation has also made it more difficult to implement rental rehabilitation programs where owners are required to come up with a portion of the funds to rehabilitate their properties.

The City will continue to encourage the State to become more involved in meeting the demands of affordable housing through state tax incentives, including tax credits and property tax waivers, for lands and structures designated for affordable housing.

Fair Housing/Diversity

City's Housing Director certifies that Phoenix will affirmatively further fair housing and has as one of its goals is that all residents will be protected against discrimination and intimidation. The City states that it strives to disperse the location of lower income housing through the City because such a geographic distribution relieves the negative impact of concentrating low income housing in certain areas. The City believes that scattering lower income housing increases the social, cultural/racial and economic opportunities available to low income households. Phoenix's has allocated $185,000 in CDBG funds for Fair Housing Enforcement.

Lead-Based Paint

It is estimated that 69% of the 175,961 low-income housing built prior to 1980 may contain lead-based paint. During 1995, the City will test through an outside contractor all potential purchases of scattered site homes built prior to 1979 for the presence of lead- based paint. If lead is found in the property, then abatement will be undertaken. Once this is completed, wipe samples will be taken to determine the lead content in the dust. Also, a number of public housing projects will also include lead abatement. City's task force will review steps that are underway to address lead-poisoning both from standpoints of preventative and remedy.

Moreover, applicants requesting federal funding from the City will be required to inspect the properties for the presence of lead-based paint and all contracts must specifically prohibit the use of such paint.

Other Issues

The City's goals that are particularly relevant to its anti-poverty strategy are those that ensure that all residents have access to safe/affordable housing; all residents have opportunity for full employment and they have adequate and stable incomes. In keeping with its goals, the City has policies for reducing the number of its residents below the poverty level. These policies include maintaining community economic development as a high priority and supporting job banks, training services and providing employment resources; providing incentives to industry to relocate, develop and expand within Phoenix and providing leadership in identifying emerging educational priorities. In addition to these policies, the City, also, provides anti-poverty services through its Divisions of Community Services, Education, Employment and Senior Services.

Community Development Needs

The City's long-term objective is to complete comprehensive revitalization in each of the five NIAs within an agreed upon time frame. The following are 5 categories of needs that have been identified in the NIA areas: Improvements to Public Facilities, such as a park and community center; Infrastructure Improvements, such as sidewalks, street lights, landscaping; Public Services for seniors, youth and children and job training; Economic Development in the form of Small Business Assistance and other needs, including code enforcement, graffiti and demolition.


Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

As previously mentioned, Phoenix central long-term community development goal is to focus its resources to comprehensively revitalize its distressed neighborhoods, beginning with its five Neighborhood Initiative Areas.

Housing Priorities

Phoenix's general housing priorities are to 1. provide housing rehabilitation assistance benefitting low and moderate income renters or homeowners in selected NIAs; 2.provide homeownership opportunities to first-time homebuyers particularly for moderate income families with children; 3. provide quality, affordable rental housing opportunities to low and moderate income households primarily through the acquisition and rehabilitation of existing properties; 4. provide assisted rental housing opportunities in the form of rental subsidies to low income elderly, families, homeless persons and others with special needs.

Non-Housing and Community Development Priorities

To accomplish the non-housing goals and objectives identified in NIA areas for FY95, $1.26 million in CDBG funds will be used for sidewalks, street lights, alley improvements and other neighborhood revitalization activities. The funds will be combined with approximately $2.8 million in HOME and CDBG funds for housing projects. In addition, priority will be given to infrastructure or public facility projects identified as needed and proposed in these five areas by non-profits, neighborhood groups through an RFP allocation of $1.8 million in CDBG funds.

Economic Development assistance to small businesses is a part of the City's strategy with an overall objective of promoting the start-up and growth of City small businesses. The City will utilize established programs /initiatives, such as the EXPAND program that helps small businesses obtain financing, the Micro-Enterprise Assistance and Loans program which contracts with non-profits to provide technical assistance and provides credit enhancements for loans up to $10,000, and the Neighborhood Economic Development Program.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Phoenix has $16,054,000. in Community Development Block Grant Funds, $4,460,000 million in HOME Funds, $538,000.00 in Emergency Shelter Grants and $760,000.00 in Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDs to meet its Consolidated Plan priorities and objectives. In addition to these funding sources, the City also receives other federal assistance such as Title XX funds that it received as a federally designated Enterprise Community. Title XX well as other private and public resources that it receives in support of its housing and community development activities.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

City cites a number of examples highlighting its continuing efforts to enhance coordination between public and assisted housing providers within the City and between private and governmental health, mental health and service agencies. For example, the City maintains strong communications with the State's Homeless Coordinator to address the housing and supportive needs of its homeless population and takes part in the planning and application processes of several entities, those of housing providers and various State agencies.


Description of Key Projects

The City of Phoenix's Consolidated Plan outlines the proposed use of $22,319,289 in CDBG, HOME, HOPWA, Emergency Shelter Grants, and program income.

Over $9 million will be used on Neighborhood Revitalization activities, including housing improvements to neighborhood public facilities and infrastructure and economic development. Over $4 million is allocated strictly to housing activities, such as rental assistance and increasing homeownership for first-time homebuyers through downpayment and closing cost assistance. $990,000.00 is allocated for Economic Development activities and approximately $1.3 is allocated for Homeless activities.


A large share of the funding is targeted for comprehensive revitalization in the Neighborhood Initiative Areas. Also, the City has designated a substantial number of its proposed projects as citywide benefit.

Lead Agencies

The entity responsible for overseeing the development of the Consolidated Plan was the City's Housing Department. The draft of the plan was jointly developed by the City's Housing, Neighborhood Services, Human Services and Community and Economic Development Departments.

Housing Goals

The City plans to increase its supply of affordable and decent housing for low and moderate income families including HIV/AIDS and other special needs persons by at least 1,183 housing units through an array of activities that include housing rehabilitation for both owner and renter occupied units; Neighborhood Services Home Improvement loans, Neighborhood Services Hardship Assistance to help owners comply with the City's Property Maintenance Ordinance, housing reconstruction and incentives for the development of affordable housing projects. The City IDA Bonds and General Obligations Bonds will be additional resources that the City will use to increase the affordable housing stock.


MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).

MAP 6 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects at street level for one neighborhood.

To comment on Phoenix's Consolidated Plan, please contact:

Mr. Jim Walloch
Housing Development Assistant
(602) 262-6913

Return to Arizona's Consolidated Plans.