Meghan Heddings, left, Executive Director of Executive Director of Family Housing Resources, and Tom McKinney, right, Chief Executive Officer of Interfaith Community Services, worked on the TEP donations for housing stability issues, including renovations at the Talavera Apartments, pictured here.

During the past two years, TEP has helped address urgent housing needs in Southern Arizona. With our assistance, seniors and other local residents were able to avoid eviction, pay utility bills and benefit from renovated affordable homes.

With rising housing costs impacting vulnerable residents, our Community Investment team connected with local nonprofit organizations to pursue solutions to the needs they were seeing. In Southern Arizona alone, local rent increased about 30 percent in 2021-22.  Eviction levels also have rebounded to historic levels after the expiration of federal moratoriums imposed during the pandemic.

In late 2022, TEP contributed $200,000 to support Interfaith Community Services (ICS) housing programs. We donated another $50,000 in 2023 to Family Housing Resources to fund much-needed upgrades at affordable-housing units.

“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, TEP’s Director of Public Affairs. “Our investment in this area ensures that our customers have the resources they need to have that stability.”

This assistance supported community vitality, one of four focus areas for TEP’s philanthropy. Our contributions come from corporate resources and are not recovered through customers’ rates.

Interfaith Community Services

TEP’s donation to ICS was aimed at providing immediate housing for recently evicted families. In all, 589 individuals were served, including children and seniors.

For example, one single father assisted by ICS fell behind on payments after taking time off work to care for his 9-year-old daughter with epilepsy. Support from ICS helped him catch up on bills.

“The impact was incredible. It kept people housed. It kept electricity on. In some cases, they were able to fix things they couldn’t afford it. It was significant because it was such a large sum of money with few strings attached,” said Tom McKinney, Chief Executive Officer of ICS.

TEP chose to support ICS because of its ongoing housing collaborations with the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.

ICS recognized that eviction is an acute problem for seniors whose fixed incomes cannot keep pace with rising rents. TEP funding helped seniors bridge that gap while also providing financial guidance. “When you are 75 or 80 years old, you can’t say, ‘Just get another job.’ Your income is your income,” McKinney said.

The organization served a wide variety of people with different needs. Some residents faced health issues or other unexpected setbacks that left them unable to pay rent. Some requested help with an apartment deposit or other bills.

“Because the funding was so flexible, it really made a difference how we served people,” McKinney said.

Family Resources Inc.

Another TEP donation supported renovations at the Talavera Apartments, a midtown complex designated for income-qualifying residents with vouchers. Built in the 1980s, the 96-unit complex run by Family Housing Resources needed full renovations, including electric upgrades, new appliances and more energy efficient windows.

TEP employees also supported the installation of new electric service panels that were delayed by supply chain issues, said Meghan Heddings, Executive Director of Family Housing Resources.

Because the renovations took longer than expected, the TEP donation helped pay for the overall project and the unexpected increased costs.

“Things have definitely gotten significantly harder. Tucson in particular has seen such dramatic increases in rents,” said Heddings. “I’m so grateful that big organizations, like TEP, are declaring this as a needed focus area. It really helps to further the conversation and acknowledge this is a crisis we’re in. We all need to come together to find solutions.”

This content was last updated on the date shown above. More recent information might be available elsewhere on