Daily Archives: January 5, 2009

How should Arizona respond to affordable housing crisis?

Join Arizona Town Hall leaders for a presentation and “action-focused” discussion on the recommendations from the 93rd Arizona Town Hall entitled, “Housing Arizona.”  For central Phoenix residents…

  • Date: Thursday, January 22, 2009
  • Time: 7:30 – 9 a.m.
  • Place: University Club, 39 E. Monte Vista Rd., Phoenix
  • Cost: $20 for breakfast

For more information or to register, click here.

WSJ says housing push for Hispanics spawns wave of foreclosures; Phoenix ranked 9th

[Source: Susan Schmidt and Maurice Tamman, Wall Street Journal] — California Rep. Joe Baca has long pushed legislation he said would “open the doors to the American Dream” for first-time home buyers in his largely Hispanic district.  For many of them, those doors have slammed shut, quickly and painfully.  Mortgage lenders flooded Mr. Baca’s San Bernardino, Calif., district with loans that often didn’t require down payments, solid credit ratings or documentation of employment.  Now, many of the Hispanics who became homeowners find themselves mired in the national housing mess.  Nearly 9,200 families in his district have lost their homes to foreclosure.

For years, immigrants to the U.S. have viewed buying a home as the ultimate benchmark of success.  Between 2000 and 2007, as the Hispanic population increased, Hispanic homeownership grew even faster, increasing by 47%, to 6.1 million from 4.1 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Over that same period, homeownership nationally grew by 8%.  In 2005 alone, mortgages to Hispanics jumped by 29%, with expensive nonprime mortgages soaring 169%, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.  An examination of that borrowing spree by The Wall Street Journal reveals that it wasn’t simply the mortgage market at work.  It was fueled by a campaign by low-income housing groups, Hispanic lawmakers, a congressional Hispanic housing initiative, mortgage lenders, and brokers, who all were pushing to increase homeownership among Latinos.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.  To see how different Congressional districts break down in terms of prime and nonprime home loans, click here.]

Phoenix resident shares his green philosophy

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — In 2001, longtime north-central Phoenix resident Greg Peterson created a revolutionary concept called the Urban Farm.  His ranch-style home, near 13th Place and Glendale Avenue, which he opens to the public on monthly tours, features a fruit orchard, chickens, solar applications, recycled building materials, rainwater, and gray-water harvesting.

Peterson, 47, is one of the Valley’s most influential voices on sustainable living.  From his Web site, he shares articles and living-green tips.  He will give a lecture and answer questions at 7 p.m. Monday at Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Drive, Tempe.  Details: 480-730-0205 or e-mail[Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Phoenix police, shelter reach out to troubled homeless people

[Source: Lindsey Collom, Arizona Republic] — Cecilia didn’t look up. A man who was with her had slinked away into the darkness, leaving a broken crack pipe and Cecilia alone to answer police and social workers. She rummaged through a tote filled with papers and other clutter, ignoring the headlights that broke the night and illuminated her campsite of boxes and bags on a central Phoenix roadside.

Homeless-shelter operators, on a regular nighttime sweep of downtown, said they often found Cecilia sleeping on the streets, even though she had an apartment. “For a long time, we’re just kind of thinking she was lonely,” said Sean Bonnette, a shelter manager at Central Arizona Shelter Services, Arizona’s largest homeless shelter. “She’d just come out here and stash stuff. She wants to sit out here….It’s hard to teach someone to not be homeless.”

Service providers and Phoenix police have joined forces to attack chronic homelessness by reaching out to those who won’t ask for assistance. A team of Phoenix police and CASS specialists has been crisscrossing downtown Phoenix four nights a week to engage homeless people who have severed connections with service providers and are drowning in mental illness or substance abuse. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

Walgreens opens in downtown Phoenix (but only for County employees)

downtown-walgreens

On January 13, 2009, Maricopa County will hold a grand opening of its new Walgreens pharmacy and TakeCare clinic, located at the county’s downtown Phoenix Administration Building (301 W. Jefferson).  The pharmacy and clinic are for the exclusive use of benefit-eligible Maricopa County employees and their dependents (and not the general public).