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AZ Housing For All’ offers ways to find solutions to our current housing supply crisis

By Peter Madrid

May 17, 2022

More than 97 percent of Metro Phoenix rentals are occupied

The numbers paint an ominous picture: More than 97 percent of Metro Phoenix rentals are occupied – the highest rate recorded. For every available rental unit, there are 20 applicants competing.

It’s a fact that Arizona has one of the most significant supply-and-demand housing imbalances in the nation. And to keep up with the population surge, Arizona needs to build an estimated 270,000 new rental units.

While these signs point to a housing supply crisis in the state, AMA is doing its part to tackle the issue head on. Because if we don’t address Arizona’s housing supply crisis, we risk rents continuing to rise, slowing the state’s economic growth and losing Arizona’s competitive edge in attracting new employers. We must expand the state’s housing supply at all price points or rental prices will continue to surge.

AMA has launched a new program, “AZ Housing For All.” It offers strategies and resources for helping address the issue. This includes signing up for email updates, contacting your local elected official, or attending a forum.

It’s a feather in our hat that Arizona is one the fastest-growing states in America. Each day approximately 300 people move to our state. Last year, Arizona added about 100,000 new residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, pushing our population to more than 7.7 million.

All these new residents require thousands of homes in which to live. Unfortunately, the housing market has not been able to build new rental housing and single-family homes quickly enough to match this surge. This has caused the price of housing to rise.

In January, the median sales price of a home in Metro Phoenix hit a record $435,000, up 27 percent over the past year. The population explosion also has sent rent surging upward in Maricopa County. COVID-19 and the 18-month eviction moratorium also contributed to surging rents, with a majority of single-family rental homeowners reporting they suffered from the inability to collect rent – including 23 percent of property owners who were forced to sell some or all their properties.

Why must these issues be addressed? Because the apartment industry in Arizona has a positive affect on our economy. Arizona has more than 800,000 apartment residents. Together, they contribute nearly $67 billion to the local economy each year – including nearly $7 billion in tax revenue.

Apartment residents create about 383,000 jobs across the state. The operation of apartment homes statewide creates another 6,000 jobs and contributes nearly $3 billion annually to our state’s economy.

Construction is a huge contributor to the Arizona economy as well. The industry creates about 14,000 jobs and contribute nearly $3 billion to the state’s economy.

How do we solve the state’s housing supply crisis?

Arizona cities and towns must build more housing at all price points, and do so quickly and cost-effectively. If we fail to correct this shortfall in supply, Arizona’s renters, would-be homeowners, our workforce, and economy will pay a heavy price.

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