Report: Low- And Middle-Income Housing Becoming Scarcer In Arizona

Published: Monday, April 12, 2021 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, April 12, 2021 - 7:36am
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Renting or buying a home in Arizona is increasingly expensive and more and more households in our state are cost burdened. A new report from ASU’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy says the state’s affordable housing shortage is only going to get worse without intervention. 

The costs of construction materials are increasing, zoning regulations limit where developers can build and wages aren’t keeping up with rent prices. The report says these are just a few of the issues making the cost of living more out of reach for low- and middle-income Arizonans.

"Arizona’s rental market is characterized by an increasing rift between the number of affordable units available and the demand for affordable units. Wages that have not kept up with inflation and recession-induced income losses have exacerbated this gap. Additionally, affordability problems disproportionally affect already marginalized groups," the researchers write.

Policy analyst Katie Gentry said Arizona also isn’t building enough new housing to keep up with a quickly growing population.

“We often say that we are not at the crisis of California’s affordable housing, but we are getting there. We’re not even building at the rate of our population increase," Gentry said.  "We’re just going to see more of a crisis and we’re going to continue to see rents increase.”

Gentry said it will take several policy actions to begin to address the issue. The report suggests creating monetary incentives for developers to build affordable units and streamlining zoning regulations to allow for more construction. Researchers point out the economic impact of the pandemic could further contribute to a housing crisis.

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