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Let’s think beyond buildings to get to the root of housing insecurity in our state.

The Housing Security Challenge is designed to inspire collaborative, cross-sector ideas to address the lack of affordable and stable housing in Arizona. It embraces the idea that our community thrives when we work together to develop solutions that benefit the most vulnerable among us. It also builds on the Foundation’s broader philanthropic agenda, which encompasses quality education, health innovations, community improvement & development, environment & sustainability, and arts & culture. We believe that by working across those impact areas, rather than focusing solely on the construction of new housing units, we can inspire the next generation of affordable housing innovation.

Arizona ranks as the third worst state in the nation for low-income families seeking housing security. Arizona also faces unique issues due to divides between its urban and rural populations and a comparatively small investment in affordable housing from state government.

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown these pre-existing issues into sharper focus, while exposing new fault lines in the links between housing, health, and economic mobility. According to a May 2020 poll conducted by Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the Arizona Republic, almost one-third of Arizonans perceive their housing situation to be less secure than it was before the pandemic.

This is where you come in.

Nearly 15 years ago, the Arizona Community Foundation helped launch the Affordable Housing Loan Fund. Since then, the fund has supported the creation or rehabilitation of nearly 3,000 housing units in the state.

Now, we want to go deeper.

“We are continually amazed by the innovative approaches and ideas that come to light through the New Arizona Prize challenges, and we know that the Housing Security Challenge will be no exception. In this latest challenge, we are asking organizations to propose solutions that have the potential to serve as a model for addressing housing insecurity across the state and benefit racially and economically diverse communities.”

– Steve Seleznow, President & CEO, Arizona Community Foundation

This competition recognizes that housing security sits at the very center of an array of overlapping issues that are vital to community health, wellbeing, and resilience. It reflects an understanding that just as the COVID-19 pandemic cannot be thought of as “only” a public health issue, the forces that render a housing unit more or less “affordable” exist far beyond the walls of the home. As a result, the Housing Security Challenge explicitly does not provide funding for the construction or renovation of housing units. Rather, we are seeking collaborative, cross-sector solutions that address the broader context of housing insecurity, including but not limited to racial inequality, economic and physical mobility, social work, public health, education, and safe neighborhoods.

We need your solutions. Join us in ensuring everyone in our state can call Arizona home.

Join us in finding new ways to help the most vulnerable among us call Arizona home.

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