Dec 7, 2022 - Real Estate

Arizona Housing Fund raises $1.3M for affordable housing from $25 donations

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

If you bought or sold a house in the past three years, you may have been asked to add a $25 donation to your closing costs to support affordable housing developments.

  • The Arizona Housing Fund (AHF) works with real estate agencies and title companies to ask home buyers and sellers to make a donation that flows directly from their escrow account into the fund for affordable housing.
  • All those donations have added up to more than $1.3 million from 4,100 individual donors and matches from agencies and developers.

Driving the news: AHF just awarded $850,000 to four projects that will bring about 200 additional housing units to the state.

Why it matters: Arizona is short about 270,000 housing units, which has spiked apartment and home prices and pushed out many middle- and low-income earners.

What they're saying: "It's really something that seems like the whole of our community really embraces. Everyone knows we have such a problem. Everyone wants to be part of a solution and we give people a way to do that," fund founder Howard Epstein tells Axios Phoenix.

Flashback: Epstein, who is also a Bank of America executive, says he tried to push for a law years ago that would require a $25 contribution for affordable housing every time a title company did an escrow transaction.

  • Yes, but: He was told the proposal wouldn't get anywhere with Arizona's legislature.

What's next: The fund just launched a multifamily component. Apartments that participate will contribute $5 each time they sign a lease.

  • They'll also give tenants an option to round up their rent for affordable housing.

Details: The first four grants, which were awarded late last month, will support three projects in the Valley and one in Chino Valley.

Arizona Housing Inc.: $300,000

  • The organization plans to finish a conversion of a former hotel at 29th and Van Buren streets.
  • The project will provide permanent supportive housing to 50 formerly homeless people, with a preference given to those 55 and older and veterans.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Phoenix: $250,000

  • The money will support a 100-bed transitional housing community for people experiencing homelessness who are also 50 or older, veterans or have a disability.
  • The organization hopes to open it in March 2024 south of downtown Phoenix.

Family Promise of Greater Phoenix: $100,000

  • The funds will help the organization acquire property in Glendale to provide affordable housing for families.

Coalition for Compassion & Justice: Paloma Village: $200,000

  • The organization has acquired 4 acres of land in Chino Valley and plans to develop a manufactured home park.
  • This money will be used to fund the first homes on the property.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Phoenix stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Phoenix.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more