PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation this week that will create a committee to study the housing crisis. At least one critic is calling the bill a “slap in the face” to Arizonans struggling to make ends meet.
“We have a situation right now where we’ve got homelessness skyrocketing, rent increasing unlike we’ve ever seen, and the very fact is homeownership isn’t even attainable at this point,” said Rep. Andrés Cano, a Democrat from Tucson. Cano said the bill does nothing to address the immediate needs of families fighting to keep a roof over their heads as housing and rental prices in Phoenix have skyrocketed over 30% during the last year.
HB 2674 creates a committee made of lawmakers, home builders, landlords, and realtors that will look at the housing crises for the next 8 months. The group is expected to deliver its findings before January 2023, meaning any recommendations to the Legislature won’t be acted on for at least another year–if not longer.
Rep. Steve Kaiser, a Republican from Mesa, sponsored the bill and concedes that “historically study committees have been sometimes a do-nothing-type setup.” However, he said this committee will be different and argued that housing is such an important issue that state leaders shouldn’t rush to act without knowing the consequences.
“Housing is such a complex issue in a state this large you really need to slow down and bring in more experts, bring in a lot more public opinion. That’s also something that we realize, that these are people’s homes and communities. We have to have much more public input in this process,” Kaiser said Tuesday.
AUTHOR: Dennis Welch