In February, Robert Mawson, Community and Economic Development Manager for Central Arizona Governments (CAG), presented the Globe City Council with a draft regional housing study and gap analysis. This report, completed in October 2021, outlined a variety of housing needs and barriers to development in the Globe-Miami community.
Mawson called the draft document, commissioned by the City of Globe, the City of Miami and local partners, a “snapshot in time” of the housing situation. He stressed that it was not a study or plan of the housing market, but that developers could use it as a springboard to develop plans. For example, he said, the report caught the attention of Gorman & Company, which plans to renovate the old school on Hill Street to create affordable housing for seniors.
The study area for the report included Globe, Miami, Claypool and Central Heights/Midland City. Drawing primarily on the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS), it found that local housing needs run the gamut — “Our gap is everywhere,” Mawson said. “Almost every level of housing is stuck at this point because there just isn’t enough of anything and people are reluctant to leave what they have.”
The reopening of the old school for the elderly is not the only solution considered. At a March 8 meeting, Globe City Council approved a preliminary plan for an 84-unit subdivision project, Rayes Ridge; at the county level, the Gila County Department of Community Services aims to promote affordable housing.
“We have to try to find those housing niches that we can improve,” council member Mariano Gonzales said at the February meeting.
Examining the study area, the CAG report found an aging population and housing stock, increasing difficulty in buildinging affordable housing, a need not only for more subsidized housing, but all types of market-priced housing, land and infrastructure issues that discourage development, a disconnect between local residents and local jobs, and a lack of options for the homeless.
The area has four subsidized housing units, with 199 units of varying sizes, and roughly the same number of affordable housing complexes – all of which have been full or nearly full since construction and can have years of waiting lists. There are also a small number of assisted living units in nursing homes and group homes. As for the homeless in Globe-Miami, there are currently no shelters.
Based on the 2019 ACS, the report concluded that 544 households could benefit from additional social rental housing.
Older homes – most units, according to the report, were built before 2000 – and absentee owners, some of whom fail to maintain their properties, are also among the local problems. “Most of these older homes are facing maintenance issues, both due to deferred maintenance and general neglect,” it reads.
The high cost of housing is another problem. According to the 2019 ACS, a total of 1,087 local households are paying more than 30% of their income for housing, and 907 of them are paying more than 35% – which, by HUD’s definition, is considered a housing cost.defined. Housing issues have also affected local employers, making it more difficult to recruit and retain workers.
With Council approval of its preliminary plan, one solution – the proposed development of 84 Rayes Ridge units – is one step closer to coming online. The next steps for this single-family subdivision will be the approval of an improvementis lying plan, final plan approval and county registration, and issuance of building permits. The preliminary plan was approved with these stipulations: provide street names and address for review and approval; provide a public utility easement of at least eight feet parallel to all rights-of-way; the proposed intersection with Ice House Canyon Road is under county jurisdiction and requires their approval and permit; address county review comments to county satisfactiontion before receiving final platinum approval and registration; Off-site grading and building permission is required from affected owners prior to permit issuance.
The preliminary flat will be in effect for two years, giving time to prepare construction drawings as well as a traffiction the impact analysis that Gila County requested from the applicant. While none of them object to Rayes Ridge itself, neighboring property owners are concerned about traffic speeds and safety on Ice House Canyon Road. More traffic is expected as the development opens, and the flat includes a new entrance road from Ice House Canyon Road. “We are all for; we need affordable housing,” neighbor Misty Williams told councilbers. “This traffic is crazy,” she added. “There have been five crashes, basically right outside my house, because they’re getting out of control.”
The project will include the extension of water and sewer lines to the development, a large amount of natural open space and a north side emergency access location; a question raised by the council was whether this could be turned into a secondary entrance to reto believe circulation. The preliminary plate contains three construction phases, starting around the proposed new road; according to city staff, this area offered easier ground for development. “The site presents considerable topographical challenges,” staff reported. “The third phase (of the development), where the land is approaching the hills, will require more excavation and leveling.”
“We are very grateful that this is truly online,” said Linda Oddonetto, director of economic and community development for the city of Globe. “Even though it may seem like a baby, it happened in a short time.”
“Perhaps the greatest opportunity. . . exists as fill properties. Filling operationportunits exist in most neighborhoods in the study area,” the report concludes. Infill properties are usually vacant or contain an abandoned house/building; a large majority have some or all major utilities at the property line.
“We have a number of properties which are run down, which are vacant, which are even a hazard in many cases. Replacing them with newer homes can make all the difference,” Mawson said. Globe City manager Paul Jepson spoke of the need to “get vacant properties back on the market”.
According to ACS 2019, there were 1,492 vacant units in the study area, an estimated vacancy rate of 21.7%. Most were not actively traded. The report notes that as of August 2021, according to Realtor.com, 63 vacant residential lots were listed in Globe and five in Miami.
Some of the obstacles toto fill development are securing the property, demolition and clean-up costs and remediation services – and the latter could be the key to another possible solution. Many Central Heights/Midland City properties were serviced by now-banned cesspools or inadequate septic systems; some have even been abandoned for this reason. This is where the Tri-City Regional Health District’s plans to install a sewage treatment facility and connect sewer lines to properties in the area come into play, possibly providing an opportunity to redevelop properties. now vacant.
Community Services and Housing
“We’re one piece of a bigger puzzle,” said Gila County Community Services Director Malissa Buzan, whose department’s main goal is to promote affordable housing. “There are a lot of elements to create affordable housing or for the workforce. I think there is room for all of this in our region.
One of the ways community services help, as noted in the ACG report, is through a HUD Section 8 housing choice voucher program. “These vouchers are primarily used to help secure and pay monthly rent to individual landlords who maintain single-family, duplex or triplex rental units,” the report said. According to Buzan, Gila County has about 63 Section 8 vouchers; 53 county-owned and 10 port-ins (families or singles who have decided to live here). The report said 27 vouchers were available in southern Gila County, although the county maintains a waiting list which the report says “consistently contains over 150 applicants”.
“Our largest Section 8 good population is low-income seniors and people with disabilities,” Buzan said. “County got 15 additional vouchers for homeless or families impacted by Covid; finding them accommodation is a bigger problem. Affordable housing is our goal, but like everyone else, we beat the bushes for the customers we try to serve. During our off hours, most of us are committed to affordable housing. Buzan added that community services housed 15 families and singles.
“Once all of this (Hill Street School, Rayes Ridge, the TRSD sewerage system and the Copper Creek development project in the east of Globe) kicks off, I think this area will definitely grow,” said she declared. “I think little by little we’re starting to snack and we’ll see more housing starts coming in.”
In summary, Central Arizona governments have recommended that local governments initiate a collaborative effort to develop a housing action plan for the greater Globe-Miami area.
“It’s been an incredibly valuable tool,” Oddonetto said of the CAG report. After a 45-day comment period, it will be brought back to City Couneyelash for final adoption.