The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awards one of its first HSI Center of Excellence grants to create the Arizona Research Center for Housing Equity and Sustainability (ARCHES). 

The new center will address the interconnected issues of housing security, climate, and health. ARCHES will be co-located at Arizona State University (ASU) Morrison Institute for Public Policy and the University of Arizona (UA) Drachman Institute with support from 19 key personnel at ASU, UA, Northern Arizona University (NAU), and University of New Mexico (UNM).  

The center’s research on housing security will inform equitable housing growth and production to support Hispanic and underserved households. Research topics in this area include factors affecting housing security in Hispanic communities, access to homeownership, and evaluating shared equity homeownership, affordability mandates, home-based businesses, and public education campaigns to mitigate housing insecurity.  

On climate, ARCHES researchers will identify housing innovations for resilience in the arid Southwest. Projects will investigate how building codes and housing finance regulations affect the quality and climate resilience of housing stock and will provide recommendations and solutions to improve housing conditions, increase climate resilience, and expand housing access for Hispanic and other underserved communities.  


Finally, ARCHES researchers will study the linkages between housing and health, including how to create healthy homes and support aging communities. In this area, ARCHES scholars will uncover connections between housing quality and health outcomes, with attention to demographic and ecological contexts.  

ASU Center Leadership and Collaboration with the University of New Mexico 

Dr. Deirdre Pfeiffer, Associate Professor at the ASU School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, will serve as the Principal Investigator on this award. Pfeiffer has previously served as a Principal Investigator on projects from Vitalyst Health Foundation and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

“ARCHES will seed new research infrastructure to develop evidence-based and community-partnered solutions to housing issues in Arizona’s Hispanic and other underserved communities,” Pfeiffer said.

Dr. Agustin Leon Moreta, Associate Professor at UNM’s School of Public Administration (SPA), will serve as Co-Principal Investigator at the University of New Mexico. His expertise will be used on research projects in housing affordability, equity, and sustainability to support Hispanic and underserved communities in New Mexico. 

“UNM is excited to contribute to the creation of this center by collaborating with interdisciplinary researchers from four Hispanic-serving institutions and building community partnerships to inform solutions to housing issues related to access, climate, and health in New Mexico and the southwest,” Moreta said.

“We are thrilled that our colleague Dr. Leon Moreta is part of this collaboration to conduct actionable research that could positively change housing and the lived environment for our underserved communities,” SPA Director and Rosenthal Endowed Professor Dr. Patria de Lancer Julnes said.

Working with Community Organizations and Underserved Populations 

Research from the new center will have a particular focus on Hispanic and underserved communities in the region. A Community Advisory Board will inform research directions and development strategies as the research agenda evolves. ARCHES will also partner with the Southwest Fair Housing Council, Chicanos Por La Causa, and Home Matters to Arizona in research and community engagement activities.