New Advocacy Group Launched to Solve Valley Housing Shortage
Phoenix – Arizona has a housing supply problem.
And Home Arizona is advocating for a solution.
Home Arizona is a new pro-housing advocacy group launched by Arizona’s top economists, business leaders, policy experts and developers who are encouraging policymakers to understand the shortage and potential remedies before it becomes a major economic-development problem.
“Home Arizona was founded on the shared belief that future generations deserve to be able to live, work and play in the communities they grew up in,” said Co-Founder Michael Lieb. “Given a lack of housing supply, and corresponding astronomical price increases, that’s no longer a guarantee in Greater Phoenix.”
Unlike other business or housing trade associations, Home Arizona exclusively focuses on the housing supply’s role in economic development, corporate relocation and job creation. It has commissioned an economic impact assessment from Elliott D. Pollack and Company and has engaged with Arizona’s top employers to weigh in on the importance of quality housing to sustaining economic success.
“I’ve been doing this work since 1969, and this is worst housing supply/demand imbalance I’ve ever seen,” said Economist Elliott Pollack. “We’re at the precipice of a very serious problem. This will affect our ability to attract and retain top employers, attract and retain top talent, maintain and improve the quality of life for our residents, and increase the customer base for our small businesses. We simply must increase supply or it’s all downhill from here.”
Sissy Shank, President and CEO of Chas Roberts agrees quality housing is a key to the recruitment and retention of employees.
“We want our employees to be able to live close to where they work so that they can spend more time doing the things that really matter, like spending time with their families,” Shank said. “Our employees do a lot for us. The least we can do is make sure that they have safe and quality housing. And when we can’t deliver on that, it becomes much harder to attract and retain talent.”
The facts align with the anecdotes. Below is a chart created by Elliott D. Pollack & Company comparing average salaries of common, essential professions, median housing prices in Valley cities, and whether the city is affordable (based on housing being 30 percent of an annual salary.)
“We take pride in conducting our work objectively, leading with facts instead of rhetoric, in keeping our cause positive and staying out of the mud,” said former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson. “This issue is much bigger than the individual debates we’re seeing at city councils across the Valley. It’s bigger than the arguments over apartments on Corner X versus Corner Y. Arizona’s future ability to attract top employers depends on ample housing.”
Home Arizona advocates will be meeting with organizations and business leaders, and advocating for pro-housing policies across the Valley.