On Wednesday, the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council approved a resolution to join House America, a national initiative to address homelessness. In the resolution, MAG set a goal of rehousing 1,225 households experiencing homelessness and adding 300 new units of affordable housing to the development pipeline across the region within the next year.
House America is an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) to address homelessness through an approach that utilizes Housing First and affordable housing. Nationally, House America focuses on rehousing 100,000 individuals or families experiencing homelessness and adding 20,000 new units of affordable housing into the development pipeline across the country. HUD and USICH have invited mayors, city and county leaders, tribal national leaders, and governors into this national partnership.
The MAG Regional Council is the first Council of Governments to join more than 90 mayors, city and county leaders, governors, and tribal leaders participating in House America.
“Homelessness is an issue that knows no boundaries. It is in our shared interests to work toward creating a lasting solution,” said Mayor John Giles, immediate past chair of the MAG Regional Council.
In December, the MAG Regional Council unanimously approved Pathways Home, the Regional Homelessness Action Plan for Local and Tribal Governments to address homelessness. Through Pathways Home, the goal of 1,225 permanent units in added and committed units has already been achieved. While Pathways Home and House America may have the same goal, they are different. A key differentiation between the two programs is that House America looks at households that have already moved into those units compared to Pathways Home, which looks at the money committed by local and tribal governments. With the adoption of the resolution to join House America, MAG hopes to get more people experiencing homelessness into better situations faster.
Katie Gentry with the Maricopa Association of Governments said “It is a reachable goal with the investments of the state, county, and local governments, who are adding units for people experiencing homelessness.”