Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte offers HOME return insights

Rising home prices and stricter regulations on the use of federal grant funds are forcing the return of nearly $1 million originally meant to create affordable housing options in Scottsdale.

Virginia Korte

Virginia Korte

Scottsdale Councilwoman Virginia Korte was asked a few questions on the topic. This is what she had to say:

Is it concerning that HOME project dollars have to be returned to Maricopa County?

I would like to have seen us use our share of this money to help people in Scottsdale, but the fact is that due to the current real estate market here, we weren’t able to use that share this year. On the positive side, by returning the money to the Maricopa County consortium, it will be used in other parts of the Valley for people who need it. The Valley still benefits.

Is it accurate to say there is no affordable housing within Scottsdale city limits?

No, that is not accurate. The city of Scottsdale supports a wide range of housing activities to increase the supply of affordable housing through the administration of the CDBG and HOME Programs. The city has provided more than $8 million dollars to non-profit agencies to provide affordable rental and homeownership opportunities for individuals and families in low and moderate income situations. This includes over 150 units of affordable housing in Scottsdale. Additionally, the city provides approximately $6 million dollars annually in rental assistance to low and very low-income persons through Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Does this situation in any way underscore the national idea that there is a growing wealth gap between the working poor and the rich?

I would not draw any larger conclusions. Scottsdale’s municipal government exists to serve all of our residents, regardless of income, and we do that to the best of our ability within our available resources. For the past 21 years, the city of Scottsdale has used HOME funding to increase the supply of quality affordable housing.  Our Human Services Department will continue to administer the HOME Program for contracts awarded to agencies for FY 2015/16 for eligible HOME activities.

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