Phoenix is the 6th largest city in the US and 4th worst for housing affordability. Only 18 in 100 housing units are affordable to middle income families, and that number keeps falling. High end luxury rentals are pushing homeowners and community members out of the city, while newly built suburban McMansions invade the privacy of their neighbors.
Additionally, climbing rates for housing keeps college grads from staying in Phoenix. For most graduates, a home is the first step in settling into a community, but with housing rates as high as they are, college graduates are less likely to stay.
But even beyond issues of cost and privacy, irresponsible development is a safety concern. The extension to the 202 is often dimly lit, and some claim there are sections totally unsafe to drive at night. These problems are common, but not inevitable. Forward thinking and responsible development are positive ways we can move Phoenix in the right direction.
One immediate avenue for responsible development is the vacant lot problem in Phoenix. An investigation by the Arizona Republic uncovered $150 million worth of unsold vacant lots, owned by the city of Phoenix. These vacancies offer Phoenix a choice: immediate development, or responsible development. Phoenix can absolutely prioritize invested interests when selling land, while also achieving the right balance of luxury rentals and efficient housing.
The housing challenges our city faces require us to make a choice: Are we going to say yes to development interests, or middle income homeowners? Are we going to build quickly, or effectively? These are questions I look forward to answering on the city council, where I will say yes to homeowners, say yes to responsible development, and say yes to Phoenix.