Tom Simplot, director of the Arizona Department of Housing, will discuss the housing crisis facing the new governor and the many solutions that need to be put on the table. It will look at how we got here and how we can get out of this crisis.
The Department estimates a need for approximately 270,000 housing units NOW just to meet current housing demand. There is a new housing supply committee created in the last legislative session that meets regularly across the state to find ways to work with mayors and city councils to change city zoning laws to enable the development of more affordable housing.
Is it a crisis?
“Absolutely, not just in Arizona but across the country,” Simplot said.
What do we see in Arizona?
“There is more demand than available housing. We have to look back decades ago when, in the 1980s and 1990s, Arizona faced an anti-growth movement. When you think back to what the state legislature did in the 90s, they created general plans, they paved the way for more neighborhood involvement,” Simplot said.
The goal was to try to slow the pace of development, “We’ve been successful in slowing the pace of development, so what we’re facing today is huge job growth under Governor Ducy, but not enough housing to keep pace,” he said. said.
Could we foresee that people would come to Arizona?
“It should have been expected, maybe not to this extent. Let’s say the Great Recession also had an impact on the model; we had such a surplus of housing at one time. We ate this in a few years, and we just never caught up,” Simplot said.
Is inflation a factor?
“It’s the law of supply and demand, there just aren’t enough apartments to rent,” he said.
“The answer isn’t to control rents, it’s to build more apartments,” Simplot said.
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