CDBG funds in the amount of $1,057,000 are programmed for a variety of housing and community development activities including expansion of the senior center, renovation of a downtown hotel for affordable housing, public services, downtown streetscape improvements, downtown plan, and mixed use corridor study. HOME funds are not received on an entitlement basis, but must be applied for through the state. Funds for Tenant Based Rental Assistance have been received for four years.
The City's citizen participation process began with development and adoption
of a new Citizen Participation Plan in January. Also in January, public
hearings were held in locations other than City Hall for the first time. In
February, a meeting was held with social service agencies to discuss service
coordination and identify gaps. The group has continued to meet on a regular
basis to discuss the service climate in the community. In April, the draft
Consolidated Plan was made available for public review, two public hearings
were held, City staff met with the Housing Authority Resident Council to discuss
plan elements, and another meeting was held with social service agencies. May
saw consideration by City Council of proposed CDBG activities, and final
adoption of the Plan.
The City of Yuma, Arizona is located in the far southwest corner of the state on the banks of the Colorado River. The river forms the border between Arizona and California, and Yuma is also close to two states in Mexico - Baja California about 10 miles to the west and Sonora about twenty miles to the south. Yuma has historically been a city to go through on the way to somewhere else -- being half way between Phoenix and San Diego and half way between Los Angeles and Tucson. Yuma was the lower fording point on the Colorado River and thus every major movement which contributed to the development of the American west went through Yuma and left its mark on the history of the area.
The major contributors to the economy of the area are agriculture, tourism and government. Tourism brings more than 50,000 winter residents from northern states and Canada to Yuma each year which impacts both services in the community generally and the housing market. The majority of the winter visitors stay in RV parks outside the City limits, however a number rent apartments each year making the rental market extremely tight during the winter months. Agriculture also contributes to the tight rental market as lettuce and citrus harvest seasons bring many farmworkers to the area from September to April.
The total population of the City of Yuma grew from 42,433 in 1980 to 54,923 in 1990 -- a 29% increase in population. The number of households grew even more -- by 37% from 14,045 in 1980 to 19,282 in 1990. The 1995 Special Census showed a population of 60,457, with 24,057 households.
There was a shift in proportions of ethnic and racial groups between 1980 and 1990. The proportion of whites in the population fell from 67% of total population in 1980 to just over 58% in 1990. Proportions of all minorities rose, with the largest increase being in the proportion of Hispanics going from 27% in 1980 to 35.6% in 1990.
Yuma County includes a relatively large number of migrant and seasonal
farmworkers. Approximately 2,400 farmworkers work and reside in Yuma County .
Assuming an average family size of 4.5 persons per household, a minimum
population of 10,800 persons comprise farmworker families permanently living
within Yuma County. (This figure would increase to 12,800 to 13,100 when migrant
farmworkers permanently residing elsewhere in the State or Southwest U.S. are
factored into the equation.)
Yuma is experiencing rapid growth, with the metropolitan area being the fourth fastest growing metropolitan area in the country. The seasonal nature of the economy from both agriculture and tourism, and stubborn double-digit unemployment, remain issues in providing affordable housing. There have been a number of major commercial projects in the last several years including Target, Dillards, Toys R Us, Super K Mart, however most of these businesses provide jobs minimum wages and seasonal employment. Several new industrial projects are being developed to provide higher paying year-round jobs.
The discussion which follows uses the term "housing problems" extensively. "Housing Problems" are defined as one or more of three items -- a) cost burden - paying more than 30% of income for rent and utility costs; b) overcrowding, and c) substandard housing conditions. Data was provided by HUD for households with housing problems.
While 46% of renter households in the City of Yuma have housing problems of some sort, the percentage jumps to nearly 80% for families making less than 51% of MFI. For all minority headed households, the chance is even higher with 87% and 81% of those in the income categories of 0-30% Median Family Income (MFI), and 31-50% MFI respectively having housing problems. For black households the percentage is even higher, with 92% of those in the 0-30% MFI category having housing problems, and 100% of those in the 31%-50% category having problems. Hispanics fare better than blacks, with 86% of those in the 0-30% MFI category having problems, and only 77% of those in the 31-50% category having housing problems.
Family type is another way to analyze the extent to which income level affects housing problems, with 78% of renter households below 51% of MFI having housing problems. Elderly families are the least likely to suffer housing problems, and large families (5 or more persons) are the most likely to have problems. All minority households suffer more than the general population from housing problems when their incomes are less than 51% of MFI.
Only 24% of homeowners have housing problems when their incomes are less than 51% of MFI. The percentage jumps to 72% for those with incomes under 30% MFI and 60% for those from 31-50%. For minority owners, 78% of those with less than 30% MFI and 64% of those from 31- 50% MFI have have housing problems. Family size is another indicator, with 100% of large families in all categories having housing problems.
In 1990 U.S. Census, Yuma had approximately 10,784 detached housing units, 1,290 one-unit attached structures, 6,004 multi-family units, and 4,611 mobile home, trailers, or other units. Mobile homes represent a significant portion of the City's housing stock, as approximately 2,000 units are situated on subdivided urban land, 68 on unsubdivided land, and 2,318 units situated in 134 mobile home parks located throughout the City. There are approximately 518 mixed residential dwellings with the City.
Vacancy rates for housing fluctuate significantly over time and are contingent on dynamic market conditions. Because of the seasonal nature of Yuma's economy, vacancies are plentiful in the summer and virtually non-existent during the winter months.
For Yuma County, median family income rose by 71% between 1980 and 1990. Monthly contract rent rose by 79% during the same period, resulting in a 4.8% erosion of rental affordability. In December, 1994, MFI rose to $30,100, a 29% increase from 1990.
Homeownership affordability rose 7.6% during the same 10-year period, making it easier to own a home.
Only 15% of owner occupied dwellings surveyed were valued under $50,000. leading to the conclusion that gains in affordability have likely benefitted moderate income households the most.
In January, 1995, according to the Norton Report, the median closed price for a home was $62,275, with a 4 bedroom house costing $115,000 which is well out of the range of low- moderate income people.
About 17% of occupied owner units were substandard according to the 1990 Census, with 13% of rental units also substandard. Based on information from the City of Yuma Housing Assistance Plan in 1991, approximately 69% of occupied substandard owner and renter units were estimated to be suitable for rehabilitation, with the balance not economically feasible to repair.
According to the 1990 Census, 6% of owner-occupied dwellings and 16% of renter-occupied dwellings were in an overcrowded condition (more than 1.01 persons/room) in 1990.
Concentrations of Minority and Low-Income Households
Generally speaking, the farther north a census tract is located, the greater the minority and low- income concentrations. The greatest concentration of minority households - 64% - is located in Census Tract 1, and the least concentration - 17% in Census Tract 10. The City's North End Redevelopment Project Area is within Census Tract 1. The City considers any area which exceeds 50% low-income or minority to be an area of concentration and a location for special outreach efforts.
Rental Assistance is needed because renters make up 61.5% of very low-income households and 55.3% of other low-income households, and more than 75% pay in excess of 30% of their income for rent and utilities in the very low income category; Housing Authority waiting lists for rental assistance and conventional public housing exceed 1,400 on EACH list; renter households with "worst case" needs number more than 1,100; vacancy rates in existing rental housing are low, especially in the winter.
New Construction can be justified because there is adequate vacant land available for the development of new rental or owner occupied housing; There are approximately 722 households which have five or more persons which are very low income or other low income; rental units having three or more bedrooms are scarce and are generally not affordable to very low or low income renters; there is not a supply of vacant and habitable public housing in excess of turnover units.
Housing Rehabilitation is needed because substandard units make up 17% of the housing stock which is owner occupied, with 86% of those units considered suitable for rehabilitation; high unemployment affects an owner's ability to maintain his property and can lead to deterioration or loss of buildings. Rehabilitation of rental units is also needed.
Homebuyer Assistance is needed because mortgage funds are plentiful and rates are low, however low income homebuyers have difficulty coming up with downpayment and closing costs.
According to a State-sponsored Yuma County Homeless Survey it is estimated that some 600 homeless persons are in Yuma during the winter months. There are emergency shelter facilities for the homeless in Yuma with Crossroads Mission being the largest with the ability to provide 70 emergency shelter beds for males; 40 emergency beds for women and children Unduplicated numbers showing shelter service use in 1994 were 2,300 individuals and 600 families. Approximately 200 people are turned away annually due to unavailable beds.
Other agencies which provide limited beds for specific user populations include Catholic Community Services for victims of domestic violence, and Behavioral Health Services for seriously mentally ill persons. The Council of Governments operates a motel voucher program to provide limited emergency assistance, as well as a rent and mortgage program to keep people from becoming homeless.
The City of Yuma surveyed the social services agencies regarding the needs of the homeless, and first priority was given to homeless families. The primary identified need is support facilities and services, with rehabilitation of existing housing units coming in next in priority order.. There is reasonable coordination among the providers of service to attempt to avoid duplication. The City has participated with CDBG funding for transitional housing for mentally ill homeless with Behavioral Health Services and with Safe House for victims of domestic violence. Rental assistance is a secondary need as the need for housing assistance is great for those who are homeless. The Housing Authority has six Section 8 certificates designated for homeless households.
The City's Housing Authority manages 185 public housing units with another 50 under construction on four sites. All units are in excellent condition. The Authority regularly applies for CIAP and CDBG funds to repair these units and sites..
Housing Authority units are well managed, and no improvements are needed in management. There are a number of programs ongoing for public housing tenants including drug elimination, Family Self Sufficiency Program, working to publicize the low-rent program and develop a network of responsible Section 8 Landlords, and assessment of tenant's needs. Other activities include resident councils, tenant patrols, participation in the Boys and Girls club, gang awareness meetings, teenager programs and teen dances.
(b) All privately-owned rental housing
No units are expected to be lost from the assisted housing inventory.
Review of local development regulations and fees reveals that there are no locally caused barriers to the development of affordable housing. In fact, the City has recently amended the zoning ordinance to allow construction of homes on small lots (4,500 square feet) under certain circumstances. This action was initiated by a local developer who provides both infill and subdivision homes which are affordable to first-time homebuyers.
The City will complete the required Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing and develop a program of activities by February, 1996. The Housing Authority of the City of Yuma currently processes complaints and the City put on a Fair Housing Workshop in April, 1995.
The City has a potential of up to 5,000 households -- both renters and homeowners -- living in units with lead-based paint. This figure was arrived at by completing HUD-mandated calculations based on age of housing. Thirteen cases of lead poisoning in children were reported to the Yuma County Health Department during 1994, however none were within the City of Yuma. The City will work with subrecipients doing housing rehabilitation to identify and abate these conditions, as well as providing information to community residents who might be at risk.
Priority Community Development Needs as shown in the Consolidated Plan are Senior Centers, Youth Centers, Parks and Recreation Facilities, other public facilities, and continuing needs for water, sewer, streets and sidewalks.
The City coordinated with all local housing and social service agencies in development of the Consolidated Plan. This coordination will continue throughout plan implementation. The City is willing to support any applications for additional affordable housing, support services, and community development projects which are in compliance with the goals and objectives of this Plan.
Other coordination efforts include the reorganization of the Department of
Development Services to include Neighborhood Services and to actively foster the
development of neighborhood organizations and neighborhood-based leadership, as
well as the coordination of City Capital Improvement Program funds in target
During the same time period that the Consolidated Plan was being developed, the City developed a Strategic Management Plan which provides direction for the City organization over the next several years. Action items which relate to the Comprehensive Plan include:
Institutionalize the process of sharing information and communicating with the community
Institutionalize a process for joint problem solving
Identify the current quality of housing throughout the City of Yuma and develop an action plan for improvement.
Develop an urban homesteading program, and other creative housing approaches, to promote investment in order or declining neighborhoods.
Create a community coordination council to provide a united effort to address all the facets of crime and street violence.
The City retained its six existing Housing and Community Development Objectives:
Rental Assistance, rental rehabilitation and new construction are all proposed to meet the needs of low-income renters, depending upon the client group to be served. Housing stock is not adequate for large families, therefore new construction is needed for this group.
Rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing and homebuyer assistance are proposed to meet the needs of homeowners. Minority owners suffer housing problems more than other owners, and many of them live in the City's target areas and would therefore be served by a rehabilitation program.
Support services and facilities and rehabilitation are seen as needs to address the needs of homeless persons. Existing facilities are very limited and more are needed, especially in transitional and permanent housing. Rental assistance is also seen as a need to move the homeless into permanent housing. Homeless prevention and case management are also seen as needs.
Public facilities and neighborhood improvements have been the non-housing community development priorities identified by the City. Examples of projects completed or underway are: Yuma Community Food Bank - acquisition and rehabilitation of facility and refrigerated trucks (completed); Addition to the Yuma Adult Center (underway); Downtown Streetscape Improvements (being designed); St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Shop ( underway); Neighborhood Security Lighting (underway); Small Business Loans (being developed); Accessibility improvements in City parks (completed).
The City of Yuma supports a number of programs and agencies whose work is directed to reducing the number of households below the poverty line. Examples of such activities are:
Support for Yuma Economic Development Corporation to create new jobs.
The funding sources planned for use by the City of Yuma over the next several years include:
CDBG Entitlement Funds - $1 million + per year.
HOME Funds - Amount unknown - competitive process
Energy and FEMA funds - used for emergency repair and for rent and mortgage assistance
Historic Preservation Funds and Tax Credits
Low Income Housing Tax Credits
HUD Homeless Program funds - Amounts uncertain - highly competitive
HUD Low Rent Housing Operating Subsidy and Construction funds
Drug Elimination Grants
Arizona Housing Trust Funds - state trust fund - highly competitive - much is used for match for the HOME program and in conjunction with HOME projects.
Arizona Heritage Fund - state fund - highly for use on designated historic properties.
State Homeless funds - Emergency Shelter Grant funds passed through as are limited state funds - very limited amounts.
Private loan funds from banks, developers, etc.
Match by private property owners
The City of Yuma Division of Planning and Neighborhood Services will
coordinate the plan along with a number of housing providers including Housing
America, Western Arizona Council of Governments (emergency repair, Area Agency
on Aging, Energy Assistance, Rent and Mortgage Assistance); Housing Authority of
the City of Yuma (HACY) - low rent public housing and family self-sufficiency.,
Crossroads Mission - emergency shelter and services for the homeless, Behavioral
Health Services - seriously mentally ill clientele; Catholic Community Services
- domestic violence and senior nutrition program. The group of social service
agency representatives which began meeting during the Comprehensive Plan process
will also continue coordinate housing and community development programs and
The City of Yuma receives only CDBG funds on an entitlement basis. The activities for FY 1995 are divided into several categories and the budget includes some $140,000 in reprogrammed CDBG funds from previous years.
Renovation of a downtown hotel to provide 59 studio and one-bedroom units - project uses multiple funding sources which include the low-income housing tax credit and CDBG and HOME funds.
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, and proposed HUD funded projects; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).
City of Yuma
PH: (520) 783-1227