A potential solution to Arizona’s lack of affordable housing

A new bill in the AZ legislature seeks to create a new study committee to solve Arizona’s growing lack of affordable housing. This housing supply study committee would include members from various parties, including a housing advocacy group, trade representatives, and members of the legislature. We spoke with Courtney LeVinus, president and CEO of the Arizona Multihousing association for more.


HB 2674 establishes bipartisan study committee to look into housing affordability and an undersupply of housing in Arizona, with a goal of creating a roadmap to address the affordable housing crisis in Arizona.


The broad study committee will include a wide range of stakeholders including Republican and Democrat members of the state house and senate, developers, housing advocates and the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. The committee will report to the legislature.


LeVinus said that she believes the committee is needed because “we are way underbuilt right now.”


HB 2674 originally included provisions to establish by-right zoning, streamlining or outright skipping much of the planning and zoning process for the construction of single-family and multi-family homes, but this was removed as it made the bill “extremely controversial,” LeVinus said.


“We knew when Representative Chavez and Representative Kaiser introduced it that it was going to create waves and that was part of the reason it was introduced was to jumpstart this conversation,” LeVinus said. “Because many in the cities and town have not been listening to our, very loud, voices over the last several years letting them know that we’re in a housing crisis in Arizona.”


Even without the by-right zoning provision, HB 2674 will be heavily focused on zoning regulations.


“The major issue, the major barrier to entry really is that planning and zoning, that entitlement process. In our case, for multi-family, virtually everything that has been zoned multi-family is either under construction or about to be under construction, so every zoning case going forward is going to take two, three, even four years to get across the finish line,” LeVinus said. “And that’s if it gets across the finish line at all.”


SOURCE: https://azpbs.org/

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