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Phoenix Mayor Announces Affordable Housing Plan

Mayor Kate Gallego and Housing Department Director Cindy Stotler. Credit: City of Phoenix

Source: City of Phoenix 

In Phoenix, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn is intensifying the already existing housing crisis. Phoenix residents, as well as residents in other cities across the country, are experiencing job losses, which can make it even more challenging to afford a place to live. 

According to Housing and Urban Development’Fair Market Rents, in Arizona the cost of a two-bedroom apartment is $1,097. To afford this level of rent, as well as utilities, a household would need to earn $43,892 annually, or an hourly wage of $21.10 – more than $9 (more than) Arizona’s minimum wage. 

To assist residents with this challenge, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallegoannounced the city’s first-ever Housing Phoenix Plan, which establishes a goal of creating or preserving 50,000 homes by 2030 to address the housing shortage in Phoenix. 

The Housing Phoenix Plan documents the findings of the city’s Affordable Housing Initiative, which launched in 2019 with the goal of completing a housing needs assessment and establishing policy recommendations to address the city’s current housing challenge. Through research and community outreach, the plan identifies the community’s housing needs, documents the housing gap, compiles nationwide best practices, and recommends the following nine policy initiatives to reach the goal increased housing options for all: 

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

As the fifth largest city in the country, Phoenix has experienced consistent population growth, which has outpaced the growth of the housing market. A housing gap analysis of the current housing need and the available housing stock shows that Phoenix currently has a need for 163,067 additional housing units. 

The plan has been publicly supported by (multiple housing-oriented) organizations. 

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