Phoenix Council Approves Revised Homeless Strategies Plan

By Christina Estes
Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 8:01am
Updated: Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 12:34pm

Shopping cart filled with personal belongings
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Shopping cart filled with personal belongings near Interstate 17 and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

Community feedback led Phoenix to revise its plan to address homelessness. 

During Tuesday’s council meeting, staff presented the revised plan which includes a task force. The city manager will appoint between 13 and 17 people representing neighborhoods, businesses, healthcare and homeless service providers along with people who’ve experienced homelessness.

Nadine Alauria told the council her family’s auto repair business in Sunnyslope has dealt with the impact of homelessness for years. She thinks Phoenix needs to hold homeless service providers accountable.

“As they are vendors that are being paid for a service, just like a vendor is being paid by any business,” she said. “Those vendors must perform and deliver as promised or contracts need to be discontinued.”

The task force will meet monthly to share ideas, research evidence-based practices, seek funding and advocate for the state, county and other cities to offer solutions. The group will send quarterly reports to the city council.

After presenting the original plan to council in late June, city staff was directed to publicly share with stakeholders, gather input and incorporate their input.

Housing Director Cindy Stotler told the council many people want to see more tiny homes and manufactured homes.

 “We are currently reviewing barriers for alternative housing options like these in zoning ordinance and working with planning and development on a text amendment to allow for more affordable housing options,” she said.

In June, the council approved a citywide housing plan to create or preserve 50,000 affordable housing units by 2030

Other changes to the city’s homeless strategies plan include providing racial equity when it comes to outreach and resources, embedding a workforce development specialist in the homeless services division, using data to provide service to neighborhoods experiencing higher impacts from homelessness and providing more transparency and metrics on the city’s website.

The plan, approved unanimously, is considered a living document, which means it will modified as needed. It contains these guiding principles:

  • Evidence-based practices.
  • Funding.
  • Homelessness will not be criminalized.
  • Housing first method.
  • Leading with services.
  • Partnerships.
  • Racial equity.
  • Reducing neighborhood impact.
  • Regional approach.
  • Transparency.
BusinessPolitics Housing

One Source, My Connection!