[OP-ED] Scottsdale’s housing crisis needs to be addressed

By Larry Kush, 50-year Scottsdale resident, former city planning commissioner and former president of the Central Arizona Home Builder Association | Guest Commentary

One cannot pick up a newspaper without seeing an article covering the severe housing shortage that currently plagues the nation. Scottsdale is not immune to this problem with housing and growth experts all agreeing that Scottsdale has a severe shortage of places to buy or rent and that moving forward it will only get worse.

Developers trying to fill this housing shortage are continually facing an outcry and strong opposition at Scottsdale planning and council meetings from powerful NIMBY (not in my backyard) citizen groups that are using every means at their disposal to stop what they see as the possible destruction of their neighborhood.

In fact, council candidates in Scottsdale recently won primary elections running on a specific and full frontal anti-apartment platform. Three candidates who failed in the primaries were all outspoken housing advocates, while the two candidates who did not win outright but made it through to the general election (Barry Graham and Pamela Carter) both have made it their platform to pander to the NIMBY crowd.
The use of the word NIMBY has become so prevalent that Webster’s Dictionary has added it to the list of accepted words. A noted economist at Dartmouth has proposed a definition saying that NIMBYism is a form of insurance where you are only protecting your neighborhood from going to hell and that the thinking goes that people are compensating by packing planning meetings to fight anything they perceive as a threat.

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