Spring and Housing are here – Sarah Liguori

We are in the midst of Spring and it feels good to enjoy the beautiful weather. The Capitol was alive this week with visitors from AEA, AFSCME, Valleywise Emergency Medicine, Early Childcare, and students and judges shadowing legislators. I learn so much from every one I meet and always welcome the company!

Let’s talk housing……

Of relevant and urgent timing, a bipartisan press conference was held on the Starter Home bill. This legislation addresses a way to rebalance regulations to allow for the construction of starter homes on smaller plots and eliminate HOAs in new developments. We have a substantial lack of houses available for everyone that needs one, and high costs for land, construction, labor, and rezoning have caused developers to build primarily at the luxury level. Two frightening numbers to highlight are the record high 83,000 evictions in Maricopa County in 2023, and that now for every 2 people becoming unsheltered, only 1 is able to successfully move into housing.

Current zoning ordinances favor large, single family lots, so much so that it has become largely illegal to build small. But demographics are shifting as family size shrinks and more people choose to live alone. Having flexibility to build smaller houses would help the market adjust to meet consumers needs and pocketbooks.

Starter homes are a great solution for the 50% of Gen Z living with their parents, for seniors to stay sheltered, decreasing outdoor water use, and providing an equitable solution for marginalized communities who have long been locked out of home ownership.

HB2570 is now sitting on Governor Hobbs’ desk awaiting her approval or veto stamp. As we face a slow down in construction and significant decreases in funding for housing and homelessness support at the federal, state, and city level, I hope policies like this are able to be deployed as one of the many solutions needed to help everyone find a place to call home. We all can play an active role to help make space in our communities for our neighbors.


Democratic bills are rarely heard in the Republican-controlled legislature, with the percentage as low as 2% of total bills moving at the legislature. Sometimes, you have to get creative, especially when trying to address policy that the majority of Arizonan’s support, such as the right to contraception. This week, Representative Stahl-Hamilton and Senator Sundareshan took control – bringing a contraceptive bill straight to a vote on the floor. We know it won’t pass, but we also know this is too important to ignore at a time when abortion and reproductive rights are being taken away from us.

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