By Catherine Reagor | Arizona Republic
“Affordable housing” has become fighting words in metro Phoenix.
A backlash against new apartments, particularly for low- and median-income renters, is shutting down much-needed housing development. Luxury complexes are even sparking battles between neighbors and builders.
The fights come as the Phoenix area is in the midst of a housing crisis with not enough homes for an expanding population and a rapidly growing homeless population.
Arizona is short 150,000 to more than 250,0000 homes depending on the count.
The number of metro Phoenix apartments with rents below $1,000 has plummeted 86% since 2010, according to new data from the Maricopa Association of Governments.
Housing advocates, business leaders and government officials are taking on the rising problem. Several groups are trying to refocus the conversation and provide information to help with arguments made by future neighbors of planned housing complexes — often considered Not In My Backyard-ers — and developers.