By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter
The region’s unsheltered homeless population has grown this year by at least 12 percent.
That is according to pre-COVID pandemic homeless counts conducted in January. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased homelessness and community needs more with job losses and some nonprofits not being able to offer the same levels of services.
The Tempe City Council will be briefed on homelessness, affordable housing, and other housing issues at a special meeting tomorrow.
The pre-COVID unsheltered homeless count totals 3,767 regionally, up 18 percent from the previous year. That includes a 64 percent gain in homeless persons on the streets in Mesa, a 34 percent jump in Scottsdale and an 18 percent gain in Phoenix.
Tempe Council will be briefed on efforts in the East Valley and across the region to help homeless persons.
The council will also be updated on efforts to bring more workforce and affordable housing to Tempe. The city reports 59 percent of 1,309 new units in the city qualify as workforce housing. Those offer rents that teachers, first responders, nurses, and other middle-income households can afford.
The Council will also be briefed on the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, jobs, and housing affordability.