Arizona has a reputation for being an affordable place to live. But that's not the case anymore. Rent prices in the Phoenix area are rising about twice as fast as the national average. The demand for housing keeps rising. In this podcast series, we explore the obstacles that are making the cost of housing in Phoenix harder and harder for many residents to afford.

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Episode 1: The Perfect Storm

Chanel Sinclair

How did the Phoenix area develop one of the most severe affordable housing shortages in the country? In part one of this five-part podcast, host Katherine Davis-Young introduces us to Chanel Sinclair, a hardworking single mom in the Phoenix area who has found it difficult to afford rent even with a full-time job. Chanel is not alone in her struggles, and some of the challenges that make housing unaffordable for Arizonans like Chanel date back all the way to the founding of Phoenix. 

Episode 2: The Working Poor

Volunteers serving food at St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix

Affordability is relative. What you can afford to pay in rent all depends on how much money you make in the first place. So how do wages relate to Arizona's growing affordability problem? And with programs like Section 8 housing choice vouchers available to help low-income people afford rent, why are so many still struggling? In part two of this five-part podcast series, Katherine Davis-Young explores the widening gap between wages and housing costs in Arizona. 

Episode 3: The Balancing Act

Apartment construction site

When we talk about the issue of housing, we’re talking about so much more than building one home for one person. Housing is a balancing act among the people who need places to live, the developers who build it, the city that makes the rules, and even neighbors who already live in a place. In part three of this five-part series, Katherine Davis-Young explains, as demand for housing in Phoenix keeps rising, all of the obstacles in the way of housing are only getting more complicated, and affordable housing...that might be the most complicated of all.

Episode 4: The Money Problem(s)

Dede Yazzie Devine, CEO of Native American Connections

Phoenix needs more affordable housing so, why not just build it? In part four of this five-part podcast, Katherine Davis-Young explores the massive costs and stymied funding sources for affordable housing. Arizona used to put much more money toward affordable housing. We'll learn where the funding went, and the challenges to getting it back. 

Episode 5: Where Do We Go From Here?

Chanel Sinclair

There are many organizations in Arizona working to build affordable housing and support low-income people who need places to live. But all of these organizations say they can't keep up with the demands of the state's growing population and worsening housing shortage. In the final episode of this podcast, Katherine Davis-Young looks at what's already being done and what else the state would have to do to address its looming housing crisis. Plus, we learn how single mom Chanel found a solution to her own affordable housing problem.