This week House and Senate members are gathering co-sponsors and filing many of their bills. This year, as I have in the past, I am focusing on the Social Determinants of Health and Adverse Childhood Experiences. Arizona is one of the stingiest states in the US. We force people to live with sickness and poverty.
Governmental policies should give people the freedom to thrive. That means helping families with food insecurity, housing insecurity and financial insecurity. That means helping them keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.
The Arizona government will never put enough money into affordable housing to build our way out of our current housing crisis. We must look beyond developer incentives and look at prevention. What policies will help people avoid eviction and homelessness? Here are a few: tenant/landlord laws, lease transparency, better wages, repeal of laws preempting cities and towns from action, and a real social safety net (TANF/unemployment/food stamps) for people who are unemployed or underemployed.
I am proposing expansion of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; fully funding the Housing Trust Fund; ending preemption bills that tie the hands of cities and towns that want to explore creative housing solutions; helping low income seniors pay their property taxes; empowering renters with lease transparency and fee options; and offering property tax supports to low income seniors.
There is much need out there. Let’s fix this.