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Mayor Gallego announces plan to address housing shortage in Phoenix

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announced on Monday a new plan to address the housing shortage in Arizona’s capital.

The Housing Phoenix Plan aims to assist residents by creating or preserving 50,000 homes by 2030.

“In June of this year, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved the first-ever Housing Phoenix Plan,” Gallego said in a press release.

“As the fastest growing city in the nation, this initiative works to address our many housing needs and recommends innovative, solution-oriented policies to create a better Phoenix for all. This plan brings us a step closer to becoming the city we all want for ourselves, our children, and our future.”

According to Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Market Rents, the cost of a two-bedroom apartment in the state of Arizona is $1,097.

In order to afford that rent and utilities, the household income would need to be $43,892 a year or $21.10 an hour. Minimum wage in Arizona became $12 an hour on Jan. 1.

In 2019, the city of Phoenix launched the Affordable Housing Initiative, which assessed housing needs and established nine policy recommendations to address Phoenix’s current housing shortage:

  • Prioritize new housing in areas of opportunity
  • Amend current zoning ordinance to facilitate more housing options
  • Redevelop city-owned land with mixed-income housing
  • Enhance public-private partnerships and increase public, private and philanthropic financing
  • Building innovations and cost-saving practices
  • Increase affordable housing developer representation
  • Expand efforts to preserve existing housing stock
  • Support affordable housing legislation
  • Education campaign

Phoenix — the nation’s fifth-largest city — is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. According to the release, analysis of the current housing shortage shows that Phoenix needs an additional 163,067 housing units.

The Housing Phoenix Plan has also received public support from numerous Arizona housing organizations.

“The Arizona Housing Coalition supports these policy recommendations, which have shown great success in increasing affordable housing in other communities across the nation,” the organization said in the release.

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