Arizona legislators set to tackle the affordable housing crisis

Posted at 9:33 AM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 11:33:37-05

As home prices and rental rates continue to escalate in metro Phoenix, the affordable housing crisis continues to worsen.

State Reps. Cesar Chavez, D-Phoenix, and Steve Kaiser, R-Phoenix, thought they had the answer when they introduced House Bill 2674, a municipal zoning by-right bill to solve the affordable housing shortage.

But his fellow legislators shot it down and now they are proposing a statutory study committee that is headed to the Senate next week.

"The Legislature is saying this is a big enough issue to create a study committee," said Spencer Kamps, vice president of legislative affairs for the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona.

"We have an affordability problem in the state of Arizona," Kamps said. "Housing is not available; shelters are not available; low-income rental properties are not available; certainly market-rate housing is not in the reach of most buyers out there. As we see interest rates continue to climb, it's going to get worse. It's not going to get better."

Essentially, House Bill 2674 would have reduced municipal oversight and authority over residential development, forcing developers and property owners to play the role of planning departments, said Jason Morris zoning attorney and founding partner of Withey Morris PLC.

The legislation would have established a new section (9-462.09) in the Arizona Revised Statutes, which would have created "by right housing."

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.