Housing convening focuses on spike in evictions, rent hikes, opportunity for centralized resources

Primavera Foundation and representatives from several other organizations throughout Tucson and Pima County recently held a follow-up convening to identify solutions and opportunities for collaboration in their efforts to better serve the unhoused community and those struggling to find affordable housing. 

The May 14 meeting brought together such groups as Old Pueblo Community Services, the YWCA, the Southwest Fair Housing Council and others, while Primavera was represented by leaders from Project Action for VeteransHomeless Intervention and PreventionRapid Rehousing and Shelter Services

The discussion centered around the challenges each organization faces, where each of them overlap in their services and how to collaborate in order to avoid creating unnecessary barriers for participants. 

For most organizations, the main issues are increasing rents, discrimination against tenants with criminal histories, and a lack of centralized resources for tracking housing availability and resources. 

Bonnie Bazata, Ending Poverty Now Program Manager, discussed the possibility of creating a centralized webpage or service to track housing numbers, available units and resources, and have the site give suggestions as to which organization users should check out first. 

Similarly, Danell Jessup, Senior Director of Homelessness Intervention and Prevention at Primavera Foundation, shared information regarding a joint initiative with the City of Tucson and Tucson Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) to provide centralized landlord engagement training and creating maps and lists of landlords who will work with non-profit groups to get their participants into housing and allow vouchers and payment assistance.

On the topic of discrimination against tenants with criminal histories, Maria Ornelas, Case Manager at YWCA, shared that re-entry program participants are facing a lot of difficulties regarding their criminal histories. Fortunately, Jay Young, Executive Director of Southwest Fair Housing Council, reassured the group that it is, in fact, illegal for landlords to enforce a blanket ban on housing felons.


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