PHOENIX — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast.
The Arizona Legislature is creating a study committee to spend the next year examining the state's housing crisis.
House Bill 2674 was initially introduced to create a standardized set of statewide zoning rules that attempted to override housing regulations or restrictions adopted by local towns and cities. The rules were drafted with the intention to help boost Arizona's low housing supply.
But lawmakers revised the bill's language to instead create a committee that can study the issue more deeply before establishing new zoning laws. HB 2674 was signed into law this week after passing through the Legislature.
The 10-member study committee will be tasked with submitting a report of their findings by the end of 2022.
State Rep. Cesar Chavez, D-Phoenix, co-sponsored the original bill and said he hopes the study committee will determine what Arizona needs to do to resolve its shortage of housing.
Valley home prices and rents have been escalating in the last couple of years, pricing some residents out of their neighborhoods and leaving them with not many options.
Jake Hinman of the Arizona Multihousing Association advocated for creating the study committee and hopes it will raise greater awareness of the Valley's housing issues.
The housing market has become incredibly competitive with occupancy rates reaching 98% in recent years, Hinman said.
"We've never seen those types of occupancy rates," Hinman told legislators earlier this year.
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