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

Consolidated Plan Contact


The Consolidated Plan was prepared jointly by the City of Tucson and Pima County. The Consolidated Plan presents a working document for the Tucson/Pima County HOME Consortium that can be used throughout Pima County, including the Tucson Metropolitan area.

The Tucson/Pima County area is rather unique in that the City administers the County's Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs and the County is the primary recipient for most state funded social services programs for the metropolitan area. By working closely the two communities can link affordable housing with essential services. It is not unusual to see both communities jointly fund activities or projects with mutual area wide benefit. The single Request for Proposals for the Emergency Shelter Program is one example of reduced overhead and area wide targeting of limited resources.

The Consolidated Plan combines the Housing and Community Development Needs, Housing and Community Development Strategy, and the One-Year Action Plans for each community into a single working document for the City of Tucson and the balance of the Pima County area.

Action Plan

For Fiscal 1996, the City of Tucson will receive $8,039,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, $275,000 in Emergency Shelter Grant funds and, as the lead agency for the Tucson/Pima County Consortium, $3,238,000 in HOME Investment Partnership Agreement (HOME) funds. Pima County will receive $3,105,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds, $110,000 in Emergency Shelter Grant funds and participate in the HOME program as a partner in the Tucson/Pima County Consortium.

Citizen Participation

The Plan results from the extensive input of over 50 community meetings, public hearings and planning sessions held throughout the City (163 square miles) and Pima County (9,189 square miles). These meetings were attended by over 50 community organizations and over 400 individuals. The plan is considered a working document for the entire metropolitan area. Indicative of this participation is the Plan cover page which is a crayon drawing of "My House" by the winner of local school competition. Other competition participant drawings are used as section dividers throughout the Consolidated Plan.



Economic conditions in Pima County since the early 1990s are on the upswing. From 1991 to 1994, total employment was up 10 percent and unemployment dropped dramatically. Virtually all sectors were up nearly 30 percent from the real estate depression evident in 1991. Healthy economic conditions were sustained in 1994 and forecasts suggest a continuation of this trend. Consistent with this robust growth, housing prices have risen dramatically. However, market opportunities in the early 1990's, resulting from high residential vacancy rates, significant supplies of acquired properties, modest rental rates and very high apartment and single family vacancy rates have all but vanished. The window of opportunity for available and affordable housing for lower income households is gone and market conditions are much more difficult. Sustained growth and tight market conditions are characterized by steady demand for affordable housing, rising rental rates, lower vacancy rates and increased competition for affordable housing stock.

Housing Supply and Demand

The 1990 census identified Pima County as having approximately 298,000 units of year round housing (excluding the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation). Of these units, roughly two- thirds (62%) were within Tucson city limits and roughly (38%) were in the remainder of the County. Of the total housing units in Pima County roughly 119,000 (42%) are rental units and 164,000 (58%) are owner occupied units. Half of all housing units in the County are free standing single family homes, single family attached units and mobile homes.

The 1990 census indicated that the vacancy rate for rental housing was 16 percent. In September of 1990, a survey of vacancy rates by the University of Arizona's Drachman Institute revealed a vacancy rate of 12 percent. In each subsequent year, this rate has dropped still further to a low of 4.3 percent in September 1994.

The availability of houses for sale has also declined with only 3 percent in 1990. Only 9.6 percent of available units were considered affordable by moderate income home buyers in the $50,000 to $80,000 range. The average sale price of an existing home in the Tucson area was reported by the MLS as $114,750 in 1994.

Housing Costs and Affordability

The area has lost a critical housing resource for low income, single individuals in the form of inexpensive single room occupancy (SRO) hotels which were plentiful in earlier decades. In 1978, there were more than 350 rooms available in downtown Tucson. Hotels costing $5-12 a night and $20-65 a week. Today almost none remain.

Although rental rates are relatively low compared to other markets, several housing assistance programs require that charges for rent and utilities not exceed published Fair Market Rents (FMRs). However, these published rates have substantially lagged behind the rapidly changing market conditions indicated above. This situation contributes to the competition for a limited number of affordable units.

Homeless Needs

Homelessness continues to be a significant and increasing problem throughout the Tucson/Pima County area. The greatest unmet need of the homeless population is the lack of affordable housing and supportive services.

Local homeless providers estimate that Tucson witnesses 10,000 to 15,000 homeless victims each year. Though it is difficult to count the exact numbers who are in Pima County, it is evident that the number has been increasing each year. The latest report conducted in 1991 showed an increase of 15 percent from 1988 to an estimated 10,000 to 15,000 homeless. Approximately 1,500 people require shelter on any given night.

Approximately 30,000 extremely low income households are at the risk of being homeless. These households may lose housing suddenly as a result of factors such as unemployment, temporary illness, family emergency, etc. Many such families are turned away from existing service programs due to the lack of emergency assistance funding.

Currently there are 473 emergency shelter beds available and 489 transitional housing beds available in Pima County. Tucson's mild winter climate attracts the homeless causing sharp increases in the need for homeless services for the months of November, December, January 1and February each year. Operation Deep Freeze and Operation Hospitality operate during these months to meet these additional needs for services and can provide 155 additional beds during these months.

Since 1985, homeless-serving organizations have formed a decentralized network with both formal and informal linkages. The types of services currently available and the organizations which provide them are shown in a table in the Consolidated Plan. It is an excellent tool for any service or shelter provider or referral agency for directing persons to the right agency with the right service. The table is set up to target the following:

  1. At or near homeless owners or renters
  2. Existing Homeowners
  3. Non-homeowners

The table is further divided by types of needs for each of the groups and listed providers.

Public and Assisted Housing

The City of Tucson, Pima County and the City of South Tucson are designated public housing authorities in Pima County.

The City of Tucson administers the County's Section 8 program on their behalf. The current inventory of public housing units in Pima County totals 1,712 units. Of these units 707 are for elderly and disabled adults and 1,005 are for families. The majority of units are located within the City of Tucson. Current vacancy rates in public housing units are 1% and this never exceeds 3%. Vacant units are generally being improved or upgraded. Between 1986 and 1994, 1,140 units were completely renovated with funds from the Comprehensive Improvement Assistance Program (CIAP). As a result, there are no substandard units in the current inventory. The City has also developed a five year schedule for maintenance and repairs under the new Comprehensive Grant Program.

In Pima County, the Section 8 program is administered by the City of Tucson. The City of South Tucson operates a separate Section 8 program with 132 units, including 68 family units and 64 elderly/disabled adults units.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

The consolidated Plan identifies several federal state, and local barriers to affordable housing. The following are a few:

Lead based Paint

The reported incidence of elevated blood levels in Arizona has shown a sharp increase in recent years. Fifteen cases were reported in 1991. In 1992, the report notes 12 cases, and in 1994, 88 cases of elevated blood levels was reported. This is nearly seven times as many as reported in 1991.

Based on the 1994 Data Book, there are 123,588 homes built in Pima County prior to 1980. Of these 86,623 are in the City of Tucson and 36,876 are in the remainder of the County. Of the 74,544 units constructed before 1980 and occupied by low income households at risk of lead based paint hazards. If lead paint is detected in any assisted housing, encapsulation or abatement will be performed and the occupants referred to the appropriate health agencies.

For the next five years, all changes in federal, state and local laws regarding lead based paint abatement noticing and reporting will be incorporated into housing program contracts.

The Arizona Department of Health Services will continue to perform outreach, public educational and medical follow up concerning lead based paint hazards. If lead paint is detected in any assisted housing, encapsulation or abatement will be performed and the occupants referred to the appropriate health agencies.

Fair Housing and Analysis

The consolidated Plan covers a variety of Fair Housing issues. The following are a few:

This section identifies specific local issues in Fair Housing and a list of recommendations.

Anti-Poverty Strategy

U.S. Census data for 1990 showed that there were over 111,000 persons in Pima County or 17 percent of the population living below the poverty level. More than 38,000 of these persons were children under the age of 18. This represents an increase of 65 percent in the number of people in poverty since 1980 when 13 percent lived in poverty.

Approximately 20 percent of the City of Tucson residents were living in poverty in 1990. Of all Tucson children, one in four were living in poverty in 1990. The number of elderly living in poverty decreased from 14 percent in 1980 to 12 percent in 1990. Twice as many females as males in the elderly category were living at or below the poverty level.

After discussing the availability and trends in current assistance and conditions, the Consolidated Plan provides observations and recommendations resulting from the input received from the several public meetings held through out the Tucson/Pima County Consortium area.


Housing Priorities

The Consortium considered the following factors in setting priorities for the Five Year Strategy:

Based on the above, the Consolidated Plan provides an analysis and investment plan for the following priorities:

The Plan also discusses obstacles to meeting under served needs and geographic and activity targeting.

Non-housing Community Development Priorities

The Consolidated Plan separately identifies the non-housing community development strategy for the City of Tucson and Pima County. It also includes the One Year Action Plans for the Community Development Block Grant Program, the HOME Investment Partnership program and the Emergency Shelter Programs for both communities.

City of Tucson

Specific priorities are listed for the following areas:

Pima County

Due to the size of the Pima County area, over 9,000 square miles, the County solicited information and input from several sources, including municipalities participating in the Urban County and targeted areas in the unincorporated portions of the County.

The County has targeted its CDBG program funds, exclusive of housing and administrative activities to the following:

Coordination of the Strategic Plan

The City and County will continue to coordinate housing and supportive service programs with private and other governmental providers. The consolidated Planning process involved consultation with other City and County Departments, as well as local non-profit organizations.

The goal of enhanced coordination among housing and related organizations is to provide effective service to Pima County low income citizens. The chart developed on page 28 and followed with tables provide information regarding the system of housing assistance and the organizations involved in providing these services in Pima County.


City of Tucson

The One Year Action Plan lists over 130 activities to be under taken with CDBG and ESG program funds during the FY-95 program year. Several of the activities include the acquisition, relocation and substantial reconstruction of units within ten to twelve neighborhoods. A few of the larger activities include the following:

Emergency home repairs $500,000
Disabled accessibility $120,000
Santa Rosa Park Development $200,000
Food Bank cold storage expansion $117,000
Vietnam Veterans transitional housing facility $115,000
Tucson Center for Women and Children $100,000
Tucson Metropolitan Ministry Fair Haven transitional housing $100,000
Pima County Adult Education Center $100,000
Brewster Center for victims of family violence $100,000

Pima County

The County's CDBG funds are targeted to it's participating jurisdictions in the Urban County and several target areas in the vast rural areas of the County. Larger CDBG funded activities include the following:

County-wide housing rehabilitation $300,000
Marana Community Center construction $150,000
Casa De Esperanza Community Services Center for Seniors $150,000
Kino Hospital health service facility expansion $160,000
City of South Tucson street improvement $125,000
County-wide business loan program $100,000

Lead Agencies

The City of Tucson is the lead agency for the Tucson/Pima County Consortium and the administration of the HOME Investment Partnership Program. For information on the Consolidated Plan or specific projects, contact the following individuals:


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.

MAP 6 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point.

MAP 7 depicts low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides additional information about the project(s).

To comment on Tucson Consortium's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Ann Woodruff
1501 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, Arizona 85705
PH: (520) 791-4123

John Glaze
32 N. Stone Avenue, 16th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
PH: (520) 740-5205

Return to Arizona's Consolidated Plans.