For many low-income families, life can mean living on the edge of homelessness. Working long hours to make ends meet, yet every month, it’s a painful, constant stretch to pay the rent or make the mortgage.
Even in Arizona where we have a slightly higher minimum wage, you need to work 70 hours a week to pay for a two-bedroom rental. That’s almost two full-time jobs before you can even begin to think about buying food, clothes for the kids, or a car.
Worse yet, is the severe lack of affordable housing inventory. Fewer low-cost options mean even more people teetering on the edge of homelessness.
Did you know that more than half of all Americans spend 50% or more of their monthly income on housing? Experts say anything over 30% drastically increases the risk of homelessness.
Housing is Hope
UMOM is in the business of placing a home within reach. Wherever possible, we employ the ‘Housing First’ approach, moving people into housing as quickly as possible. Once in housing, we address the issues that led to homelessness. The housing first approach has a proven track record and is often among the best ways to end homelessness.
We use several types of housing and housing programs to aid families, youth and women.
Permanent Affordable Housing
Housing is considered affordable when it takes up less than 30% of household income. It means a family or individual can pay rent or mortgage for the long term and still afford other basic needs like food, clothing, utilities and transportation.
Permanent affordable housing ends homelessness for families.
Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH)
For a variety of reasons, some people need more than two years of extended shelter. They may be chronically homeless or may experience disabilities like mental illness or chronic health conditions. PSH integrates affordable housing with supportive services and has been shown to be a cost-effective and successful solution.
Rapid Rehousing is an effective approach in use nationwide. At UMOM, we move quickly to place families or individuals into short-term, subsidized housing, then deploy a range of supportive services to overcome barriers to permanent housing.
This swift move to stability is particularly effective for children. Studies have shown that for each time a child moves, they can lose as much as six months of academic progress.
If you are interested in becoming a landlord partner and helping connect tenants to vacant units, click here.
Permanent housing is made affordable for families through rent that is partially paid for with private and/or public funds. UMOM provides privately subsidized housing for low income families, and partners with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and local government agencies to provide Section 8 housing vouchers to families.
“Our goal is to provide every family in need with an affordable place to live.”
Jackson Fonder, UMOM CEO
19 West opened in April 2019. This apartment development in north Phoenix provides 54 families with new, safe, affordable housing.