(The Center Square) - Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen introduced legislation to tackle the state's affordable housing crisis.
Senate Bill 1103 aims to speed up the process developers have to go through to build developments to keep up with the housing demand in the state.
If passed into law, a city or town could have administrators review plans such as site and design plans, and preliminary and final plats, without requiring a public hearing. In addition, it would "adopt" a self-certification program" that would allow architects and engineers to self-certify projects. It would also permit "at-risk submittals" for some early activities in the process of a build.
Those applying for permits with a good history of following rules could get a faster review of their application.
"Twenty years ago, the homebuilding process from start to finish would take approximately six months. Today, that process can take up to four years," Petersen said in a news release. "I believe this action will soon provide relief for our citizens that are hurting from sky high housing prices by quickly increasing supply."
Several Republican senators are co-sponsoring the bill.
The senate committee on government is scheduled to consider the bill Wednesday.
As Arizona is one of the fastest-growing states in the country, there's been widespread concern about the cost and accessibility of housing and resources such as water. The United States Census Bureau Data from July 2021 to June 2022 estimated that Arizona had a 1.3 percent population increase, The Center Square previously reported.
"However, we must also acknowledge the flip side of this prosperity, that too many families are getting further away from achieving the American dream due to the high cost of housing," Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs said in her State of the State address earlier this month. "Our state is no stranger to the boom-and-bust housing cycles - but this is something wholly different."