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Renting in Arizona: is it still affordable?

For Rent sign
Posted at 5:30 AM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 12:51:11-05

PHOENIX — Whether you are looking to buy or rent, housing costs across the Valley have skyrocketed in recent months. In some areas, as much as 20 to 30%.

Marsha writes, "I started out at $953 and in three years I'm at $1,456."

While Eddie writes his 90-year-old neighbor's rent is jumping from $1,700 a month to $2,600 for a two-bedroom in Scottsdale.

Both are almost a 52% increase in a short period of time.

"It's a supply and demand issue. And it's made it really, really hard for folks, for sure," said Kelly McGowan, Deputy Director of Wildfire AZ.

In a virtual town hall on the ABC15 Facebook Page, The Let Joe Know Team spoke with experts about the housing crisis unfolding in our state.

"There are not many counties in the state right now where you can make the wage you need to, to not spend more than 30% of your take-home pay on housing," said McGowan.

In fact, according to McGowan, they estimate a person needs to make $21 an hour to comfortably afford a one-bedroom apartment in Maricopa County.

She says steps need to be taken to expand the affordable housing inventory, like offering more subsidies to builders. On the other hand, you at home asked if rent caps or rent control would help.

"Well, right now, that's it's not a possibility. That way, under our current laws," said Attorney Maxine Becker. "I think those are the discussions that people are having, as to, is that a solution. I mean, I think I think we need to look at all the possible solutions."

So, what can be done in the meantime if you're facing an increase right now?

"The more you communicate and let the let your landlord know what's happening with you, the better off you're going to be for sure," said Becker.

She says you can ask to move to a cheaper unit or sign a longer lease at a reduced rate.

No matter the case, reach out for assistance if you need it.

"There's still lots of funding statewide to get emergency rental assistance," said Becker.

RESOURCES: 

AZ State Bar Foundation Eviction Resources.

Wildfire AZ Community Partnerships (Utility, rent, food assistance).

Arizona Self-Help portal (free and easy way to find out if your family can get help from 40 different health and human services programs).