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BizCOMMUNITY continued from page 193 Finding affordable housing is a problem, especially in Tucson and Pima County, where there are more than 10,000 people on the waiting list for 5,400 Section 8 vouchers. Where do these people go for help? This current demand started with the recession and as more and more people lost their jobs, they lost their homes and they began looking for alternative living arrangements – and that usually means rentals. As a result, prices have increased and it’s difficult to find a rental because of the demand. The fact that there are a finite number of both vouchers and rental units creates a rental bubble, Culver said. “I’m looking for new ways to create affordable housing. It’s not that there aren’t lots of units that need to be rehabbed, but my goal is to provide more than rehab. Rehabilitating existing units is important, but to be able to provide additional housing units is my focus.” Finding the money for subsidized housing requires tenacity and research – and Culver has the right mix of educa-

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tion and experience, both as a bank loan officer and risk assessment officer for the State of Arizona Department of Housing, where she made sure allocations of state resources were appropriately utilized. She’s also completed coursework for a master’s degree in urban planning at the University of Southern California. “There are a limited number of programs that will help with affordable housing, so I keep current on when new funding rounds are opening, how much money is available and the targeted populations. It’s a process that is ongoing. Maximizing resources to develop as many housing units as possible is a challenge.” Today’s affordable housing is not built as infill in parts of town where no one wants to live, she said. “The state wants housing built close to public transportation and retail stores, charter or public schools with high performance ratings, and requires services and amenities be provided to residents.” Her road to Partners for Housing Solutions began in Los Angeles, where she

attended the University of California Los Angeles part-time to earn a bachelor’s degree while working in banking. It took her 16 years of working and going to school to get there. During that period she worked in the real estate division of Bank of America and later as a VP of First Los Angeles Bank. “My focus was on construction loans for builders of entry-level homes.” That was more than 20 years ago. She developed the interest and desire to develop affordable rental housing. Now her focus is on helping nonprofit organizations create relationships between housing and the services they offer. “More and more nonprofits are beginning to understand that if there is a lack of integration between housing and their services, their services are not as effective. For example, someone who is homeless needs services, healthcare and shelter in order to stabilize,” she said. “It has to be an integrated solution.” The nonprofit has an ownership interest in the housing and provides community support through the housing. It

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