Buried in this recent story of Catherine Reagor’s in the Arizona Republic about rising Valley rents is the fact that Scottsdale is the priciest place in Arizona to lease apartments.
On one hand that is good news as it affirms the city’s cache. But on the other, it creates hardship for the city’s substantial workforce – or those that want or need to live closer to work as the city and Valley hardly have a notable transportation system. This is especially true for tourism-related businesses, the city’s largest industry. Employers and employees are not always aligned. But on this dynamic they are. Better housing options mean better, and happier, employees.
Some may say – so what? This is not a city problem. The ability to live close to Scottsdale is good enough. Maybe they are right. Or wrong. But the dynamic described above is very real.
This is not a call for an affordable housing stimulus by city leaders, as helpful as that may be. There are numerous policy considerations before going down this path.
Instead, and as often happens, the private sector is coming up with solutions in the gap between affordable housing and pricier rentals called “attainable housing.”
Some of these projects and options are already under construction in Scottsdale. Others are being proposed.
City leaders would be wise to give them an enthusiastic evaluation and due consideration. Because being the most expensive rental market in the Valley has its benefits. And downsides.