Housing Security Challenge starts Wednesday

Contributed Article

PHOENIX – The Arizona Community Foundation, Republic Media, and Morrison Institute for Public Policy are pleased to announce the official launch of the Housing Security Challenge, Calling Arizona Home,  the fourth philanthropic prize competition offered under The New Arizona Prize banner.

With an award of $250,000 to the top collaborative team, the Housing Security Challenge will offer an opportunity for teams of organizations to develop new solutions that can help create a new generation of innovation around affordable housing. Teams will be judged on their ability to illustrate how their solution innovates beyond the construction of housing units to address housing security through supportive services related to racial inequality, economic and physical mobility, social work, public health, education, or other related factors.

“We are continually amazed by the innovative approaches and ideas that come to light through the New Arizona Prize challenges, and we know that the Housing Security Challenge will be no exception,” says Steve Seleznow, President & CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation. “In this latest challenge, we are asking organizations to propose solutions that have the potential to serve as a model for addressing housing insecurity across the state and benefit racially and economically diverse communities.”

Teams can register and begin preparing their applications starting tomorrow, Sept. 2 at housingsecuritychallenge.org. Each team must be collaborative and reflect the communities they serve. Interested applicants must register by Dec. 1, 2020, and complete their applications by Jan. 21, 2021. All information and updates regarding the Housing Security Challenge will be posted on the website throughout the competition. Teams can meet the judges, read the scoring rubric, access resources, get news and updates, reference the competition timeline, and, once registered, use back-end tools and features.

“This year’s pivot from water sustainability to affordable housing could not have been more timely,” says Phil Boas, Editor of the Editorial Pages at The Arizona Republic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown these pre-existing issues into sharper focus while exposing new fault lines in the links between housing, health, and economic mobility in our state.”

“Housing in Arizona was already tenuous before the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis,” says Andrea Whitsett, Director of the Morrison Institute of Public Policy at Arizona State University. “With nearly a third of Arizonans feeling that their housing situation is less secure now than it was before COVID-19, it is time for us to work collaboratively to support the most vulnerable among us.”

The New Arizona Prize is aimed at creating the Arizona of tomorrow: a state where innovation thrives, ingenuity is supported, and the best thinking is harnessed to create long-term, positive solutions to persistent needs. While continuing to award grants, scholarships, and community loans that topped $64 million in its last fiscal year, the Arizona Community Foundation has committed to hosting philanthropic prize competitions designed to attract new thinking and innovation. Through these open, fair, and transparent competitions, ACF, in partnership with Republic Media and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy, deploys a portion of its philanthropic resources to generate innovative solutions to our state’s challenges.

Established in 1978, the Arizona Community Foundation is a statewide family of charitable funds supported by thousands of Arizonans. With five regional offices serving communities across Arizona, ACF is among the top 25 community foundations in the nation with more than $960 million in trust and endowment assets and is certified under the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations. Since inception, ACF and its affiliates have awarded more than $783 million in grants, scholarships, and loans to nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies. More information is available at azfoundation.org.