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19 West Apartments bring affordable housing to north Phoenix

With an affordable housing crisis in the Phoenix area, 19 West brought one woman the life-saving housing she desperately needed.

PHOENIX — A new affordable housing apartment complex in north Phoenix is bringing hope, opportunity and a beautiful place to live for families and individuals. 

19 West is located just west of Glendale and 19th Avenue. The 54-unit complex just opened its doors to low- to moderate-income families and individuals.  

It was built as a joint project among the city, state and various partners at a total cost of $16,000,000. As Team 12's Mike Gonzalez found out, 19 West is helping one woman more than she ever imagined. 

A new start for a woman who lost everything

On a day when so many powerful dignitaries came together to highlight a place that will make a real difference, no one’s voice stood out stronger than Susan Goeser’s.

"My journey began by losing my home, I lost my job, then my husband of 38 years passed away," said Goeser, in front of a crowd of about 50 people.

In the past year, Susan has split time living in her SUV and camping inside a tent on the McDowell Mountain preserve for $22 a night until a good friend told her about 19 West. 

"I got to sleep in a bed for the first time two weeks ago," Goeser said.

19 West has 54 two- and three-bedroom units that run between $554 to $1,000 a month. Each unit is spacious, has a washer and dryer and a large kitchen. 

Other amenities include workout rooms, a quiet space and play areas for kids. There’s even a computer room where residents can get online.  

"We want to see more housing options that recognize that we’re individuals with different priorities. We want safe spaces in every part of this community. This community embodies that," said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. 

19 West is part of UMOM New Day Centers, an organization at the forefront of efforts to fix the affordable housing crisis. 

CEO Darlene Newsom said people like Susan who get in a sudden bind are most a risk. 

"We’re one of the highest eviction states in the nation. We’re the third tightest market for affordable housing in the nation. Most minimum-wage individuals spend 75 percent of their wages on housing," Newsom said.  

Phoenix has a housing crisis

Phoenix is having real affordable housing crisis. 

Between 2014 and 2017, Metro Phoenix ranked in the top 10 for most affordable big U.S. cities to buy. By 2018, Phoenix stood at No. 21 on the most affordable city list

Phoenix-area home prices shot up 130 percent in the past decade. Last year in Maricopa County, 43,800 people were evicted from their homes—a 3 percent increase from the year before, according to a report by the Arizona Republic

What's next for Susan Goeser?

As for Susan Goeser, the 65-year-old says she’s grateful she has a place to call home, thanks to so many helping hands. She's a professional nanny and plans on working again once she's settled into her new place. 

"Everyone is so thankful. I'm so grateful. This is wonderful," said Goeser. 

If you’re interested in 19 West you’ll have to get on the waiting list because they’re already at capacity after just opening their doors about 10 days ago. 

But UMOM is planning a new project on 7th Street and Southern Avenue that just broke ground. It’s a 90-unit complex for people 55 and over with a preference for veterans. 

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