ARIZONA PEER & FAMILY COALITION POSITION STATEMENT
The Arizona Peer & Family Coalition (APFC) supports the identification and allocation of additional funding to provide a full range of supportive housing solutions for adults and families with mental health and substance use challenges in Arizona, including full restoration of the Arizona Housing Trust Fund and the reallocation of housing funds not currently being spent. Supportive housing programs avoid costlier settings, such as inpatient or jail.
The APFC was established in 2009 with a mission of advocating for, connecting, promoting, and developing leadership by peers and family members throughout our state. Today, the APFC has over 175 members located throughout the state and represents the perspectives of individuals and family members who have first-hand lived experience navigating the behavioral health system for themselves or on behalf of a loved one with mental illness.
KNOW THE FACTS
There is $25 million for Secure Residential BH Facilities that may go unspent if not spent by June of 2023!
$25 million could provide more than 41,000 individuals with $600 in rental assistance.
$18 million could house 90 individuals with a SMI diagnosis and fund the rental subsidies, 24/7 staff and supportive housing services for 2 years.
PREVENTION AND HOUSING
Poverty, lack of affordable housing, unemployment, trauma, mental health issues, substance abuse, and domestic violence, all contribute to homelessness. Housing addresses the root causes of homelessness. Research conducted by the Corporation for Supportive Housing shows the benefits of Supportive Housing & outcomes
- Studies show that supportive housing positively affects housing stability, employment, mental and physical health, and school attendance. People in supportive housing live more stable and productive lives.
- Cost studies in six different states and cities found that supportive housing results in tenants’ decreased use of homeless shelters, hospitals, emergency rooms, jails and prisons
1. Funding and SMI Housing Wait List
We recommend full restoration of the Arizona Housing Trust Fund. We also recommend the reallocation of housing funds not currently being spent (such as the money designated for Secure Behavioral Health Residential Facilities). These funds could be used for the SMI Housing Waiting List.
2. Permanent Support Housing
We recommend expedited access to permanent supportive housing for removes barriers that people with SMI and SUD’s face by providing individuals and families with housing, including wrap-around case management services. The Permanent Supportive Housing: Assessing the Evidence review found that “components of the model reduced homelessness, increased housing tenure, and decreased emergency room visits and hospitalization.”
3. Housing Support Services and Accountability
We recommend the development of support services to help in maintaining housing. We also recommend working with housing providers and Landlords to ensure our members have the behavioral health, legal, job coaching, and financial literacy services needed to be successful tenants. Landlords that know this extra support is provided will be more willing to partner with our members and provide them with a level of flexibility.
This statement was completed on Jan. 16th, 2023. For questions or more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.