For Immediate Release
Campaige Place property purchase by Maricopa County: Positive step to combat homelessness
A "positive sign at a time of mostly bad news." A key building block in the decades-long battle against homelessness. A "remarkable" collaboration among governmental and non-profit organizations. A "creative" solution to a persistent problem.
These were among the hopeful comments today at formal ceremonies marking the acquisition of a 300-room complex in downtown Phoenix that will provide permanent supportive housing to low-income and otherwise homeless individuals. The officials were on hand to mark the official transfer of Campaige Place, 209 West Jackson Street, a property that was in danger of foreclosure, to Arizona Housing Inc., a non-profit affiliated with the Central Arizona Shelter Services, in a unique arrangement using federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds.
Campaige Place opened in 2003 as a single-room occupancy apartment complex in a century-old building in the Phoenix warehouse district that was once a livery stable. Downtown Phoenix once featured several SRO hotels that housed low-income persons, mostly men. With downtown development and urban renewal, SROs across the nation were leveled, aggravating the homeless problem, especially in periods of severe economic recession. Maricopa County has estimated its current homeless population at more than 17,000 persons, counting those living in the streets, in shelters, and doubled up with friends and relatives.
Seen as a partial remedy, permanent supportive housing provides subsidized housing for people with very low incomes and chronic health problems. The tenants are offered an array of supportive services that may include mental health, employment, substance abuse. Target populations include veterans, homeless persons with disabilities, low-income individuals and working poor individuals seeking residences close to employment, transportation and entertainment. Successful programs for the chronically homeless have been operating in Chicago, Denver, Wichita-Sedgwick County, Kansas and in Utah.
"This has been a remarkable effort and a great example of cooperation among all parties," commented Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a strong supporter of the project. "This facility and program will serve our community for years to come."
Wilcox specifically cited U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, a former Maricopa County supervisor himself, and officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for their intervention and support. She said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Deputy Secretary Ron Sims and Associate General Deputy Assistant Secretary Ronald Spraker were particularly helpful.
This purchase involved the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Maricopa County, the Arizona Department of Housing, Arizona Housing Inc. and the Housing Authority of Maricopa County. The project was backed with the support of the Valley of the Sun United Way, the county Human Services Department, the Central Arizona Shelter Services, the Arizona Department of Veterans Services and the City of Phoenix.
A sampling of comments:
Rebecca Flanagan, Phoenix and Tucson Field Office Director for HUD: "I can say that the transfer of this previously-HUD insured property to Arizona Housing Inc. is a big deal for us. This has been a successful collaborative effort involving HUD, the State, the County, United Way, and Arizona Housing Inc. Campaige Place will provide a portion of its 300 Single Room Occupancy property as permanent supportive housing for formerly homeless veterans and other individuals. The project will ensure that formerly homeless veterans maximize their ability to live independently through a focus on individualized, voluntary services designed to help them meet their own goals for self-sufficiency and self-determination. HUD’s goal is to see projects such as Campaige Place reduce homelessness in Maricopa County. It is definitely a win-win situation for everyone."
Michael McQuaid, Co-Chair VSUW Ending Homelessness Advisory Council, Managing Director Human Services Campus: "On behalf of the Valley of the Sun United Way Ending Homelessness Advisory Council and the Human Services Campus, I would like to congratulate all those that have worked so hard to make the acquisition of this property become a reality. The formerly homeless men and women that will find permanent supportive housing at this facility are so fortunate to have our community come together in this fashion. The collaborative efforts of HUD, the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, the State of Arizona Department of Housing, and multiple service providers has set an example and model of how working together can be so effective. Thank you to all!"
Michael Trailor, Director, Arizona Department of Housing: "Campaige Place is a special 300 unit renal home community in downtown Phoenix with easy access to public transportation and jobs. Thanks to some creative thinking by Maricopa County, Arizona Department of Housing and Arizona Housing Inc. this foreclosed HUD property will now serve Arizona citizens whose incomes are at or below 50% of Area Median Income. The community will be enhanced with a variety of supportive services to assist residents with counseling, education and training. A job bank will be developed with the assistance of downtown employers. In this era of mostly bad news, Campaige Place provides some good news for our community."
Brian Spicker, Valley of the Sun United Way Senior Vice President of Community Impact: "This project demonstrates the powerful results we can accomplish when state, city, county, and nonprofits collaborate to advance work that will serve hundreds of Maricopa County’s most vulnerable residents. Without a doubt, it will change the life of many and will strengthen our community’s capacity to end homelessness."