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Officials break ground on new public housing complex in Chandler

Chandler City Hall
City of Chandler
handout | contributor
Chandler City Hall

Lawmakers and other local officials broke ground Thursday morning just east of downtown Chandler, where they expect affordable housing to stand less than two years from now.

It’s the city’s first project supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program, which helps public housing agencies preserve and improve housing quality.

Jack Sellers is chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, which voted last year to invest roughly $5 million into the complex.

“Attainable housing is one of the key issues that we're dealing with,” said Sellers. “And finding a location like this that is very acceptable to the neighborhood and provides really, really important options for our residents is so critical.”

According to Sellers, the board voted last November to invest $10 million into affordable housing projects.

“That would benefit more than 400 Chandler residents,” said Sellers. “About $5 million of that funding went towards the Villas on McQueen.”

Once built, the complex will prioritize placing seniors, veterans and residents with disabilities in one of its 150 planned units.

“The development will become a cornerstone of Chandler's public housing redevelopment efforts and will invigorate this neighborhood,” said Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke.

Affordable housing projects, added Hartke, are key to helping meet the city’s current and future housing needs.

“It’s hard to even find a three bedroom rental unit,” said Keon Montgomery with the state Department of Housing, praising the project design. “So to have a four and five bedroom option available to families in need is tremendous.”

Montgomery also emphasized the need for layered financing and patience to pull projects like this together.

Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.