KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Pressure mounts for Hobbs to sign or veto controversial Arizona Starter Homes Act

Pressure is mounting on Gov. Katie Hobbs to sign a housing reform bill into law. 

A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers last week passed the Arizona Starter Homes Act, which is aimed at removing red tape to allow for more building of affordable homes. But it’s opposed by half of legislative Democrats, as well as the powerful League of Arizona Cities and Towns, because it would limit cities’ power to reject housing developments. 

During a Monday morning rally at the Arizona Capitol, progressive advocate Dominique Medina said the conflict is getting in the way of providing relief to Arizonans. 

“We don't think it's beneficial to have the state and the cities be quibbling over who gets to provide solutions. We need solutions at every level of government, and we need them now,” Medina said.

Hobbs last week wouldn’t commit to signing or vetoing the bill. In a text on Monday, spokesperson Christian Slater said the governor is “examining the bill,” but did not say whether she supports it.

Rep. Analise Ortiz (D-Phoenix) said she met with Hobbs’ staff recently and explained why half of the Democratic representatives support the bill.

“This is the only bill exclusively dealing with home ownership. Every other housing bill has to do with renting,” Ortiz said.

Hobbs said last week she wants a housing compromise with municipalities, but Ortiz accused the League of refusing to do that.

“The League of Cities and Towns refused to negotiate on this bill. They told multiple members that they would not negotiate, and they instructed certain cities to not engage with our diverse multiracial coalition,” Ortiz said. “We made compromises anyway to appease certain members, so we have done our part in compromising. This is a robust compromise that took more than a year to get to this point.”

On Tuesday, lawmakers will hold another press conference to make their own appeal to the governor on behalf of the Arizona Start Homes Act. Republican bill sponsors Sen. Sonny Borrelli (R-Lake Havasu City) and Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu City) are scheduled to appear.

More stories from KJZZ

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.