Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix City Council took steps today (July 1, 2022) to make the fifth largest city in the country a more attractive location and “livable city.”
They also passed a measure, in unison with Tucson and the Gila River Indian Community in conserving water from Lake Mead during this drought period.
Among the community investments the Mayor and Phoenix City Council approved were:
- “Affordable Housing
The city will issue Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds, not to exceed $25 million, to construct affordable housing at Falcon Park, located near 34th Avenue and Moreland Street. The bonds are made available by the Phoenix Industrial Development Authority.
- Housing and Help for Those Who Are Unsheltered and Vulnerable
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will support $8.1 million for Community Bridges Inc. to lease and operate 120 hotel rooms, and to continue its important work assisting people experiencing homelessness to access shelter and supportive services. Available programs will support clients as they move from temporary shelter to long-term, permanent housing.Victims of human trafficking will receive safe housing, case management, and support services through a $1.2 million program with Phoenix Starfish Place Corporation. The funding will span three years and is dedicated to healing and empowerment for the operations’ residents.The city will opt for another year-long extension of Home Delivered Meals through the Area Agency on Aging in the amount of up to $2.4 million. Increased nutrition for seniors, people who are homebound, and adults with disabilities, has empowered many affected residents to remain independent and in their homes since the program’s launch in 2019.
- Arts and Culture
Nearly $1.3 million in Community Arts Support Grants will be distributed to 98 arts and cultural organizations. Employing an equity strategy, the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture drew in applicants from all disciplines, budget sizes, underrepresented populations, as well as from all eight city council districts. Click here to see the full list of grantees.”
Commenting on the Phoenix City Council actions, Mayor Gallego stated:
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in residents on the verge of losing their homes, and worse, some who have become unsheltered. Today’s actions are an investment in solutions for people and families. As basic needs are covered, we also feed our individual and collective spirit by preserving and promoting arts programs and performances, and by celebrating the wide cultural diversity that makes Phoenix strong. At the heart of each of these investments is a mother, father, son, daughter, or grandparent in need of a better, more fulfilling life. As a city, we have shown our strength and resilience during harsh times. We’re now reconfirming our commitment to improve experiences in every sector of our community.”
She also posted on social media:
The Phoenix arts community helps us laugh, cry, and see things differently. Today, council and I have granted $1.2 million to help keep local arts a vibrant part of Phoenix! pic.twitter.com/8HVLies6nR
— Mayor Kate Gallego (@MayorGallego) July 1, 2022
With regards to Lake Mead, Phoenix has agreed “to leave an additional 14,000 acre-feet (AF) of Colorado River water in Lake Mead.”
This is in addition to 16,000 acre-feet the city forgoed from Lake Mead last winter according to the agreed 500 + plan.
Phoenix will receive $7.8 million as compensation for forgoing the water from Lake Mead. According to the press release, those funds will go toward “the city’s Water Revenue Fund to help purchase water from other sources and fund conservation programs.”
City residents and workers, according to the press release “consume 30% less water per capita than they did 30 years ago, even as the city has experienced dramatic population growth over the same period.”
Commenting on this agreement with Tucson and the Gila River Indian Community, Mayor Gallego wrote:
“In this time of extreme drought, it is not easy to convince governments to leave water behind. However, I believe we are all acutely focused on what it will take to help Arizona communities thrive for the long term. In Phoenix, that means we make reasonable sacrifices now, to ensure we can continue to welcome people who want to live here, as well as the businesses that want to set up shop here. It is also true that cities and Indian communities cannot solve this issue on our own. We need to see proportional action across sectors – particularly agriculture, which uses 70% of available Colorado River water. We need that conservation trend to continue. But as the drought stretches on, we are constantly looking for ways to be even better stewards of our most precious resource.”