Please allow us to introduce “Elevando Maryvale”. In Spanish, elevando refers to ‘rising’ or ‘elevating’; and on April 29, 2017, National Rebuilding Day, Rebuilding Together Valley of the Sun kicked off Phase I of an ambitious five-year plan to elevate Maryvale Village in Phoenix with a goal to restore social, health and economic equity to its proud residents. Our plan works from the inside out to rebuild strong, diverse, safe, and vibrant neighborhoods through the rehabilitation of existing owner-occupied homes and the revitalization of schools and community spaces.
Our five-year revitalization effort includes plans to provide free critical home repairs/rehabilitation for 50 very-low to low-to-moderate income homeowners; park, playground and sports field renovations; and physical upgrades to schools, churches, and club facilities. Using strong community partnerships, this is a coordinated and collaborative approach between RTVOS, local residents, council members, municipalities, nonprofits, businesses, foundations, and other organizations designed to create and sustain a safe, healthy and thriving community.
Why did we choose Maryvale for this ambitious project? As one of the most ethnically diverse areas of Phoenix, Maryvale suffered heavy losses during the foreclosure crisis and was one of the neighborhoods worst impacted nationwide. It has yet to regain much of its former housing-based wealth. Although the broader real estate market in Phoenix is recovering, this community which has owner- occupied home rates in excess of 80% is still struggling as evidenced by these disturbing 2016 statistics:
*Median household income: $25,722
*Average household size:3.85
*Children living below poverty level:49.4%
*Housing units lacking complete plumbing facilities: 9.75%
*Housing units lacking complete kitchen facilities: 18.1%
*Residents with income below 50% of the poverty level: 41.5%
*Poor families by family type; Married couple family: 62.2%
Housing is well understood to be one of the most important social determinants of physical and mental health and economic well-being. High-quality housing limits exposure to environmental toxins and dangerous conditions that impact childhood health and safety. Stable and safe housing also supports mental health by limiting stressors related to financial burdens and offering homeowners control over their environment. In addition, it serves as a platform for providing supportive services to improve the health of vulnerable populations, including the elderly, people with disabilities, children and homeless individuals, and families.
As demonstrated nationally through work by Rebuilding Together affiliates in other distressed communities, interior and exterior improvements for just ONE home contributes to a 21 percent increase in overall conditions as neighbors are spurred to reinvest in their own homes. As few as 10 rehabilitated homes on a block can improve overall conditions by 57 percent and creates a ‘surge effect’ of additional investment which serves to preserve the character and raise market values of all homes throughout the neighborhood. With targeted home rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization, we anticipate increased property values which, in turn, will increase the tax base available to support local schools and, above all, increased social, health and economic equity for all Maryvale residents.
RTVOS’ goal is to preserve and enhance the existing social capital within the Maryvale Community. To better serve the entire community, we humbly request your support. We thank you for the opportunity to briefly share our story with you, would be delighted to tell you more about our plans.