With more housing needed, and rents on the rise, a round table bringing together representatives from federal, state and local agencies met to discuss how to make housing more realistic for all.

Arizona is facing a severe housing shortage, with experts indicating the state needs an additional 250,000 housing units to meet growing demand. This shortfall is driving up home prices and rents, making affordability a significant concern for residents.

In response, Congressman Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) hosted a housing roundtable on Tuesday at his Tucson district office.

The event gathered area stakeholders and representatives from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) in San Francisco to discuss solutions.

“Weve done stuff in Sierra Vista, Marina, Willcox, and Tucson itself,” said David Adame, an independent board member of the FHLB. “In the past few years, weve done about 500 units of housing, supporting them with close to $5 million in grants.”

The FHLB in San Francisco provides funding to banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions across California, Nevada, and Arizona, which is crucial for supporting affordable housing projects.

Housing prices in Tucson reflect the broader trend affecting the state.

“Here in Tucson specifically, the average home price is $330,000,” Adame said. “Thats not affordable to a lot of people.”

Meghan Heddings, Executive Director of Family Housing Resources, emphasized the impact on vulnerable populations.

“A lot of seniors are already on fixed incomes and rents are just really out of reach for them,” she said.

Heddings highlighted the importance of down payment assistance programs facilitated by FHLB.

“Its huge, it really enables a lot of low-income homebuyers to be able to purchase,” she said.

Congressman Ciscomani, a member of the House Appropriations Committees Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, underscored the need for collaborative efforts.

“Creating this conversation, advocating for the right issues, being a voice for those financial institutions,” he said, “is vital for addressing the housing crisis.”

As Arizona’s population grows, the need for comprehensive housing strategies remains urgent.

Events like this roundtable hosted by Ciscomani are pivotal in driving forward initiatives to increase affordable housing availability, ensuring that more residents can secure suitable homes.