$5 Million Investment Engages Property Owners, Expands Rental Options for People Exiting Homelessness
A s part of a comprehensive suite of investments to address affordable housing needs, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has approved a $5 million program funded by federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars that expands rental options for people exiting homelessness. Known as ‘Threshold,’ the program features a centralized network of property owners and managers who have committed to providing safe and affordable rental options to help people transition from homelessness to housing.
“Reducing homelessness requires an ‘all hands on deck’ approach — from emergency shelter services at times of crisis to permanent housing and resources that lead to self-sufficiency,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates, District 3. “This partnership ensures people working to end their homelessness have a path into the rental market. This is a barrier we need to work together to address, and I applaud the property owners who have chosen to open their doors to everyone in our community.”
The initiative is the result of a public-private collaboration between Maricopa County’s Human Services Department and HOM, Inc., an Arizona-based organization dedicated to offering housing opportunities for people facing homelessness and housing instability.
Through the Threshold program, participating property owners and managers will receive technical support, financial incentives, rent, and other guarantees that eliminate financial risks for renting to individuals and families that are reestablishing their income sources and rental history as they exit homelessness. The housing made available through the Threshold program is offered by referrals from authorized service providers to people experiencing homelessness who are enrolled in the regional coordinated entry system.
“We believe individuals, families, and communities are safer, healthier, and stronger when everyone has a home,” said Mike Shore, President, and CEO of HOM, Inc. “The Threshold network recognizes that engaged property owners and managers are instrumental to helping people exit homelessness and seeks to make them collaborative partners in solving the housing crisis.”
The Threshold program is one of many approaches that Maricopa County is pursuing as part of its $77 million investment to address homelessness and its $65 million investment to address the need for more affordable housing. Funding has been dedicated to a variety of programs along a continuum of housing solutions that address peoples’ needs from the life-disrupting crisis of homelessness through a journey to reintegrating into housing and moving toward personal well-being.
Note: Additional services available to eligible Maricopa County residents that help address barriers to being able to thrive and end homelessness include health resources, Workforce Development programs for youth and adult career seekers (now accessible in County libraries), domestic violence survivor services, food security, no-cost early childhood education services, and services to support seniors and adults with disabilities.
Maricopa County has focused its federal recovery funding on ways to assist those who have faced the greatest adversities. In addition to establishing a network of property owners and managers for partnerships through Threshold, actions on additional housing solutions have included:
· delivering more than $125 million in emergency rental, utility and legal assistance to help prevent evictions
· adding more than 350 permanent beds to the regional sheltering system
· providing up to 200 beds for heat relief from May through October 31
· growing the stock of affordable rental housing by more than 1,000 new units
· facilitating homeownership with down payment assistance for 140 future low-income buyers
· increasing the number of newly constructed affordable single-family homes by 128
For more information on the assistance that is available and making a positive impact for people in Maricopa County, visit Maricopa.gov/Rescue.
About Maricopa County Human Services
As the fourth largest county in the nation home to some of the nation’s fastest-growing cities, Maricopa County’s population is large, growing, and more diverse than ever. Maricopa County’s Human Services Department provides services and programs to people of all ages and abilities to promote their well-being. From offering early education to career training and employment services to case management for aging and adults with disabilities– the Human Services Department serves as a leader in the region to support strong families, neighborhoods, and community relationships. Learn more about the financial, educational, and support resources available to eligible Maricopa County residents at HSD.maricopa.gov.