North Central resident Bobby Lieb, an associate broker with HomeSmart, and his friend and neighbor Tim Sprague are doing their part to help give people in need the ability to acquire affordable housing.
Sprague, who is a member of the advisory committee for the Arizona Housing Fund (AHF), recently approached Lieb to suggest he join as a partner for the philanthropic effort. The fund is a way to raise money to build and operate needed affordable housing and help thousands of individuals and families in the state experiencing homelessness.
Howard Epstein, another North Central resident, founded the Arizona Housing Fund in 2019. An executive with Bank of America, Epstein has been fighting homelessness as a volunteer on many non-profit boards for decades. Epstein said the support of Lieb and other Realtors is “driving the growth of the fund,” which he expects will be able to provide its first grants later this year.
The program has raised more than $500,000 so far, largely via its Escrow Donation Program, in which real estate brokers, title companies, home buyers and home sellers are asked to donate at least $25 when a home sale closes. That money is deposited directly from the escrow company into the AHF, which is housed at the Arizona Community Foundation. The money will be used to offer grant funding to Arizona non-profit organizations with experience building and running permanent, supportive, affordable housing.
Lieb said he has known Sprague for 25 years, first meeting when their children played baseball together. Sprague also hired Lieb to sell his house recently. After hearing that thousands of people in the state are suffering from homelessness, Lieb said “how can you not be sympathetic to that?” He added he and others are fortunate to be selling homes and had a chance to “do something good to help our community.” Lieb is contributing $50 to the AHF for every home he sells.
In addition to the Escrow Donation Program, AHF also raises funds through direct donations and a rental application donation program.
To learn more, visit https://arizonahousingfund.org.