With rents continuing to rise and affordable housing in short supply, Senate President Warren Petersen is sponsoring a bill aimed at helping shorten the lengthy and burdensome administrative approvals process that’s currently slowing home building in our communities and driving up prices for Arizona families.
According to Petersen, SB1103 would provide city and town governments with a tool to expedite development and construction projects by allowing municipalities to conduct business more efficiently and without bureaucratic red tape.
Testimony presented in last year’s Legislative Housing Supply Study Committee, showed that the population of Arizona has grown by nearly 15% since 2010, but housing has not kept up with this growth. As a result, during that same period, rent payments and home prices in Maricopa County alone have jumped by approximately 60% due to the high demand.
Currently, it can take as long as two years to simply get local approval for new housing projects, which Petersen says has exacerbated the price hikes Arizona citizens are experiencing.
While SB1103 encourages new housing units to address the shortage of housing, Petersen argues this legislation is also good policy to encourage homeownership to address our groundwater shortages. Outside of designated providers, home ownership is the only land use that meets the 100-year assured water supply standard and replenishes their groundwater. Arizona needs to encourage this sustainable land use to protect our groundwater supplies.
“20 years ago, the homebuilding process from start to finish would take approximately six months. Today, that process can take up to four years,” said Petersen. “I believe this action will soon provide relief for our citizens that are hurting from sky high housing prices by quickly increasing supply. I’m thankful for the collaboration on this bill from the League of Arizona Cities and Towns to help ensure our communities will have the tools they need to increase the number of homes being built so that our hardworking citizens are able to secure affordable housing in a timely matter, while also protecting our groundwater.”
“As an engineer, I know that the factors impacting the timeline to bring a home to market are complex and cannot be laid completely at the feet of municipalities; however, we believe that providing cities and towns with additional options to expedite regulatory processes is a great step towards addressing Arizona’s housing needs,” said Yuma Mayor and President of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Douglas Nicholls. “We thank the Senate President for his leadership on this bill and look forward to our continued partnership as this issue progresses through the Legislature.”