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Lawmakers introduce bill to address housing crisis in Arizona

The demand for housing in Arizona is rising, along, of course, with prices. But two legislators proposed a bill aiming to increase affordable housing and set aside $89 million to combat homelessness.

The bill is a bipartisan measure introduced by state Reps. Steve Kaiser and César Chávez. Kaiser is a Republican, and Chávez is a Democrat. 

Kaiser says the legislation is designed to spur faster building by eliminating some zoning and permit requirements from local jurisdictions. 

The nearly $90 million dollars set aside will be allocated to the Housing Trust Fund starting this upcoming fiscal year. According to research firm Apartment List, rents in Phoenix have risen by 28% in the last year. 

Maricopa County saw 5,000 eviction filings in January, the same amount logged in February 2020 before lockdowns started. The county received nearly $40 million in federal funds to help renters facing evictions. 

Greg Hahne started as a news intern at KJZZ in 2020 and returned as a field correspondent in 2021. He learned his love for radio by joining Arizona State University's Blaze Radio, where he worked on the production team.