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Out of Reach: Cities are driving up rents by moving too slowly, a former Phoenix mayor says

Housing prices across the state have been slowly coming down over the past several weeks, but are still very high. And that has put housing out of reach for many prospective buyers and renters. The Show is taking a look at the housing situation as part of an occasional series; today, the role cities play.

The city of Phoenix recently announced steps to help streamline the plan review and permitting processes for single-family residential developments. But former Phoenix mayor Paul Johnson says in general, cities have to do more to help projects get off the ground. 

Johnson served as mayor of Phoenix in the early '90s, and says cities oftentimes don't recognize the direct impact they can have on constraining supply and increasing housing prices. He doesn’t think they do it intentionally, but they still impact supply, because of the amount of time it takes to get through their processes and regulations.

The Show spoke with Johnson before Phoenix’s announcement and asked if cities really make it unnecessarily difficult or long for housing to be built.

More stories from the Out of Reach series

Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.