If you read this blog regularly, you know that we have a housing shortage issue which is playing a major role in housing prices spiraling out of control. We also recently gave kudos to Mesa for having the foresight to be willing to build more and reject the local NIMBY voices of the community. Well we have a few more Valley cities that are starting to understand the value of building.
Enter Glendale and Tempe to the list of cities that are getting it right, as a recent story details. They have plans under construction for significant amounts of affordable housing, defined as being at 30% or less of income. They will be utilizing an affordable housing development tax credit passed through the legislature last year.
This comes with the backdrop of a rental crisis in Arizona, one that is felt most acutely in Scottsdale. There have been heart-wrenching anecdotal stories of incredibly burdensome rent increases with little warning. This is in addition to hard data, which puts rent for one-bedroom apartments in Scottsdale amongst the top 10 in the country, averaging $1,950 per month.
With falling housing prices, there will likely be a corresponding drop in the price of rental homes, but this will almost certainly only happen after a lag period, one that many might not have time to wait for. And this doesn’t consider apartments, the only affordable option for many people. There must be other catalysts, and some of them (such as a recession) are less palatable.
But the cities of Glendale and Tempe are coming to the side of simple Economics: that to suppress prices, you either must suppress demand or increase supply. And while our water issues may eventually suppress demand, increasing supply is within the wheelhouse of every city council and every planning board in the state. All it takes is to ignore the loud, organized NIMBY voices, to not let perfect be the enemy of good, and to BUILD.
Glendale, Tempe, and Mesa…who will be next to poach citizens, increase their tax base and boost their overall economy with sound building principles and an understanding of economics? We call on the Scottsdale City Council to stem this future bleeding of talent and riches, and get to the work of increasing housing supply before other cities get wise to the wisdom of this strategy.