'Where Do We Fit In?' Phoenix Seniors Face Possible Relocation

By Christina Estes
Published: Monday, July 9, 2018 - 5:00am
Updated: Monday, July 9, 2018 - 10:56am

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Deck Park Vista
Christina Estes/KJZZ
Deck Park Vista opened in 1992 as an affordable senior housing complex.

The need for more affordable housing in Phoenix could lead to some low-income seniors being forced to move.

On the edge of the popular Roosevelt Arts District, just north of new, high-rise luxury apartments sits a city-owned, two-story complex built for people 55 and older. Linda Reese has called Deck Park Vista home for 13 years.

“Where do we fit in?” she asked. “Really and truly?”

That’s the question Reese posed to the Phoenix Residential Investment Development Effort (P.R.I.D.E.) Board, a nonprofit corporation created three decades ago to help the city increase housing opportunities for people with lower incomes.

During the board’s last meeting, members voted to spend up to $10,000 on a market study to redevelop Deck Park Vista.

Joe Peters, another Deck Park Vista resident, asked the board why the complex can’t stay as it is.

Board President Jason Israel said that no conclusion had been made. The study will look at what kind of needs exist in the downtown area.

“The property itself, from a pure real estate perspective, is being underutilized,” he said. “There’s a tremendous demand for clean, safe, quality affordable housing in this town.”

If the market study gauges enough demand, the current 56-unit complex for seniors could turn into hundreds of units open to all ages. It’s not something Linda Reese wants to see.

“I’m 69-years-old and I have to leave a home I intended to say in for the rest of my life,” she said.

If the complex is torn down, Phoenix says it will help residents move to other city-owned housing communities and, if they want, return after Deck Park Vista is redeveloped. Providing moving costs to seniors who choose to move out-of-state is another option.

The market study could be ready in August.

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