AMA Protecting The Industry And Addressing State Housing Shortage
The rental housing industry continues to face targeted attacks nationally and in Arizona. From the repercussions of the eviction moratoria to the specter of rent control, the industry is being directly affected by a rapidly changing regulatory environment that is becoming increasingly hostile.
Everyday, one can’t open the paper without seeing another hit piece lambasting developers or attacking rental property owners and managers. Political candidates at the state and local levels are building entire careers by taking dead aim at rental property owners. While a traditionally a pro-private-property-rights state, Arizona’s political landscape has changed dramatically, and with it, the surety that harmful policies like rent control won’t surface here.
Media outlets and state legislators continue to attack the eviction process as to fast, unfair, unethical and in need of so-called “reform” meant to diminish the rights of rental property owners. Rent control proposals – no longer bound to the geographical limits of New York, California and Oregon - have recently surfaced in Arizona. While thus far such ill-conceived measures have been defeated in the state Legislature, there has been increasing support both nationally and locally for bringing those policies to our doorstep.
Just look at this past year: Arizona legislators introduced eighteen bills directly aimed at the rental housing industry, including:
- Five Rent Control bills introduced, including capping rental increases to 5% annually.
- Three bills extending the eviction timeline and prohibiting owners from non-renewing a lease contract unless for cause.
- Allowing a resident to opt-out of amenity fees including solid waste collection fees and smart home options.
- Creating a statewide “Source of Income” class of residents and requiring owners to accept residents with government housing vouchers.
- Requiring owners to use court created forms for all eviction-related notices and pleadings.
- Allowing cities and towns to enact Inclusionary Zoning to require developers to set aside a percentage of their units for affordable housing.
While the Arizona Multihousing Association continues to be the most effective voice for the industry, attacks like these mean that defending and supporting the work of the AMA has never been more crucial – or more difficult.
The AMA is also taking the lead on addressing the state’s growing housing shortage. In 2022, the AMA spearheaded efforts to overhaul the myriad of layered zoning and land use regulations that have stymied the free market’s ability to address the growing demand across the state.
Ultimately, the AMA successfully passed legislation to create an eleven-member Housing Supply Study Committee to examine these barriers and recommend changes to the legislature in December.
With the Arizona Legislature set to convene in 2023, AMA leadership has outlined a proactive campaign meant to tell “our side of the story” to a full range of stakeholders – everyone from elected leaders to statewide media, to the business community, and most importantly to Arizona’s nearly 7 million residents. Visit www.azhousingforall.com and sign-up for the bi-weekly newsletter.
This comprehensive effort requires two things:
- Engagement by AMA members, and an
- Increase in financial resources
The AMA is funding this effort by growing its Better Government Fund (BGF). While the AMA surpassed our $1 million goal in late 2020, the Board is determined to grow the BGF, ensuring our war chest never runs empty at the time that it’s needed most.
The BGF, established in 2010, historically has been used to protect the state’s apartment industry from harmful legislation, to support candidates for office who support the rental housing industry and to fund the legal fight against civil actions that would severely curtail private property rights or financially harm Arizona’s rental housing community.
This article is from the 2023 At A Glance publication. Read the full publication below:
At A Glance