“Poverty with a view.” If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a 1,000 times. Flagstaff is a beautiful city. It’s no wonder why people come from all over the country to enjoy our breathtaking scenery. But for many who live here, it’s a struggle to make ends meet. According to our local Chamber of Commerce, the cost of living in Flagstaff, Arizona is 15% higher than the national average.
It’s no wonder we struggle with homelessness here – the lack of affordable housing has reached a crisis point. In the Valley, a typical renter earns $17.59 per hour but the cost of a two-bedroom apartment means you’d need to earn $19.50 an hour. In Flagstaff, the difference is even starker: a renter needs to earn $21.71 an hour to afford an apartment; the typical hourly wage is only $12.37 an hour.
Affordable housing is everyone’s issue. It’s tied to economic development, business, the workforce, schools and the quality of life for every single member of the Flagstaff community. When people can no longer afford a roof over their heads, the entire city suffers.