Housing Plan Profile: Arizona

Plan title: Arizona Incentives for Affordable Housing Task Force Final Report [PDF], available on the State Department of Housing website.

Issued: June 2006

Overview: The task force that wrote this plan was convened in December 2005 at Governor Napolitano’s direction following her veto of SB1477, a bill that would have prohibited inclusionary zoning in Arizona. This plan is an attempt to identify alternative strategies to create affordable housing, agreeable to task force members representing an array of interests. Actions in the plan are divided into two categories: short-term objectives to be accomplished within six months, some for presentation to the Arizona State Legislature, and long-term activities requiring further consideration and time for implementation. Activities are organized under the categories of Finance, Barriers and Incentives, Education, and Land/Land Planning, with an emphasis in each category on building new partnerships and resources, providing leadership, and reducing red tape.

Selected Strategies:

  • Remove uncertainty in the development process by promoting standardized methods of determining impact fees and property tax valuation processes for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit units, and encouraging communities to adopt regional permit approval agreements and include an affordable housing element in city and county general and comprehensive plans.
  • Ease local regulatory barriers by offering expedited permitting to developers that meet performance requirements, using technology to facilitate timeliness in the approvals process, and offering deferred development fees until certificates of occupancy are issued.
  • Increase the funds available for affordable housing by allowing proceeds from the sale of State Trust land to be invested into loans for affordable housing, and easing regulatory barriers that complicate the use of multiple state funding sources on a single project.
  • Offer state and local tax incentive programs to promote development of affordable housing, including tax abatement, waiver or reduction of property taxes on parcels used for affordable housing, and property tax exemptions for affordable units developed by non-profit organizations during construction and when unoccupied.
  • Consider dedicating interest earned on earnest monies from real estate transactions and/or a portion of the State Transaction Privilege Tax collections to an affordable housing trust fund, and investigate financial incentives to encourage and supplement the creation of local housing trust funds.
  • Develop employer assisted housing strategies and incentives for participation, including tax benefits for employers and employees, and access to previously unavailable state funds for program financing.
  • Create a clearinghouse of resource material, and begin a public awareness and education campaign related to housing affordability.

Financing Sources Identified:

  • Greater Arizona Development Authority programs
  • Water Infrastructure Finance Authority funding
  • Arizona Permanent Fund, capitalized with revenue from the sale of State Trust land (proposed)
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credits
  • State housing trust fund, capitalized with interest earned on earnest monies from real estate transactions and a portion of State Transaction Privilege Tax collections (proposed)
  • Local housing trust funds (proposed)

Background:

Written by the Arizona Incentives for Affordable Housing Task Force, appointed by the Arizona Department of Housing and Housing Commission; taskforce meetings facilitated by Dr. Kent Colton of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, with research and technical support from Dr. Kil Huh and Chris Morton of the Fannie Mae Foundation.

The lead agency is the Arizona Department of Housing and Arizona Housing Commission; other public partners identified in the plan include the Greater Arizona Development Authority, Water Infrastructure Finance Authority, League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Arizona Department of Commerce, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Transportation, Department of Land, Department of Corrections, Office of the State Treasurer, Department of Revenue, and municipal representatives from across the state

The timeline includes 6-month “short term” goals, and long term goals. Production goals and target populations are not specified.

 

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