UniSource has directed philanthropic donations to address urgent housing needs throughout Arizona since late 2022. Through our investments, local residents were able to stay in their homes, pay utility bills and reduce their energy costs through the use of efficient new appliances.

As rising housing costs pushed vulnerable residents to the brink of homelessness, our Community Investment team connected with local charities to address the needs they were seeing among their clients. In Southern Arizona alone, local rent increased about 30 percent in 2021-22 and eviction levels rebounded after the expiration of federal moratoriums imposed during the pandemic.

UniSource committed $100,000 to help low-income families fend off housing instability.

“Financial security starts in the home. If people are able to stay in their homes, they are able to take care of their families and keep jobs. That’s where it starts,” said Steven Eddy, UniSource Director of Public Affairs. “Our investment in this area ensures that our customers have the resources necessary to stay in their homes.”

This additional assistance extended UniSource’s support for community vitality. Our philanthropic contributions come from corporate resources and are not recovered through customers’ rates.

Santa Cruz County

Seven families received ENERGY STAR appliances for new homes they helped to build through a Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) program that also provided mortgage counseling and guidance. The organization received $10,000 from UniSource for these services.

Through CLPC’s Rural Housing initiative, income-qualified residents contribute to the construction of their own homes, making the purchase more affordable. More than 300 families have benefited from the program since it started in 1993.

All homes are built to ENERGY STAR standards, helping residents control their energy costs. CPLC used UniSource’s grant to purchase a package of ENERGY STAR kitchen appliances – microwave, oven range and refrigerator – costing about $2,250 per home.

Corina Fragozo, CPLC’s Rural Development Director of Real Estate Operations, said the appliance purchases especially helped homeowners as home-related and construction prices dramatically rose over the past few years. Some of the homeowners, who started the construction process at the start of the pandemic, saw their loan amounts and material costs increase significantly.

UniSource’s funding helped offset some of those increases. One such recipient was Yoquebet Luis-Moreno, pictured here, who was able to purchase a home for her family, including her husband and four children, ages 3 to 14.

“Appliances are something we typically leave to the homeowner to purchase on their own. This really did help them in being able to fund other items for their homes,” Fragozo said. “With the UniSource grant, homeowners are able to ensure efficiency on the appliance side.”

Northern Arizona

In other areas of Arizona, UniSource funded utility and rental assistance efforts and made housing counselors available to help residents manage their bills.

UniSource worked with the Western Area Council of Governments (WACOG) and Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG), which helped direct resources to serve low-income households in the communities we serve. Those groups partnered with Wildfire AZ, a community action agency, to provide assistance.

Grant amounts per county were:

  • Coconino – $30,000
  • Mohave – $30,000
  • Navajo – $10,000
  • Yavapai – $20,000

“We have great community partners that provide assistance to our customers and  honor the investments that we’re making,” Eddy said.

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