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Arizona Voters’ Agenda: Voters Want the State to Do More to Address the Housing Affordability Crisis and Put an End to Landlord Discrimination

Big Question for Candidates: “How do you propose to ensure all residents have access to housing that is safe and affordable?”

Posted on September 29, 2022 • Category: News Release

PHOENIX, AZ – With early voting in the 2022 General Election fast approaching, Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) today released survey findings on affordable housing & homelessness to conclude its latest rollout of a new Arizona Voters' Agenda survey. The survey of likely Republican, Democratic, and independent/unaffiliated voters of all ages was conducted in late August and builds on insights from a previous survey to identify what likely voters prioritize in Arizona’s midterm election and what they want to hear about from candidates campaigning for votes.

The lack of affordable housing options has been widely reported locally and nationally. Millions of Americans across the country are impacted, and the more pronounced effects across Arizona’s urban and rural communities are at the forefront. The latest Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey results confirm housing is a major issue for the majority of the state’s likely voters and point to where broadly supported solutions can be found. The findings show voters want to see their state and local governments do more to ensure everyone can access housing that is safe and affordable and believe that renters should not be kept from available options based on how they pay their rent.

"Arizonans are feeling the effects of skyrocketing prices and dwindling options, and these findings highlight the genuine pressures facing us right now,” said Dr. Sybil Francis, President & CEO of CFA. “As our state continues to grow, finding real solutions to these issues is critical to improving and sustaining the quality of life for all Arizonans. Likely voters resoundingly want more to be done, and when it comes to the midterm election, they want to hear candidates discuss their plans and solutions to the housing affordability crisis.”

Market reports show that median rents increased in the last year by an average of 45% in the Phoenix Metro Areas and 124% in Tucson.  As a result, more Arizonans are experiencing homelessness or the lack of availability of affordable housing. The latest Arizona Voters’ Agenda survey findings reflect this context. In fact, 80% of all likely voters agree with the following statement, "House prices and rental rates are out of control. Many essential workers are not able to afford housing in the communities they serve.” This includes supermajority support among Republicans (70%), independents/unaffiliated voters (88%), and Democrats (91%). Additionally, 78% of all likely voters support “encouraging workforce housing options for essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, and healthcare staff.”

Arizona voters also highly support the notion of broader action. In all, 79% agree with the statement, “Arizona must do more to make sure that housing options are affordable and available to middle- and low-income earners throughout the state.” This includes 62% of Republicans, 88% of independent/unaffiliated voters, and 98% of Democrats.

Notably, likely voters also indicate that stigmas or resistance to housing assistance do not belong in the housing market. In fact, 78% of all likely voters agree with the following statement, "Landlords should not be allowed to keep a person out of housing based on how they pay for it – whether using their own funds or housing assistance." This includes 65% of Republicans, 90% of independent/unaffiliated voters, and 91% of Democrats.

Another potential solution to increasing affordable housing options is the idea of engaging apartment developers. Over 78% of voters support the policy of “encouraging apartment developers to dedicate a few available units to families who qualify for housing assistance.”

When it comes to supporting our community members experiencing homelessness, Arizona voters expect the government to be involved in the solutions. Over 83% agree with the statement, “State and local government have a role to play in ensuring people who experience homelessness can access safe, affordable housing.” This includes support from 71% of Republicans, 83% of independent/unaffiliated voters, and 98% of Democrats.

“Unlike some of the topics that seem to dominate our political dialogue, this is not a fringe issue or concern that only appeals to a certain segment of the electorate,” explained Dr. Francis. “Despite its obvious importance to voters–especially the independent and unaffiliated– we haven’t heard much from the candidates about their ideas and solutions for increasing housing affordability. They would be wise to pay attention.”

As candidates compete for votes, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda highlights an essential set of questions for forum moderators, voters, and the general public to ask. On this topic, begin with at least one big question based on the data showing where Arizonans have strong agreement: “How do you propose to ensure all residents have access to housing that is safe and affordable?”

Get all survey findings, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda, more questions to ask candidates as they compete for votes, and more at arizonafuture.org/azvotersagenda.

 

About the Arizona Voters’ Agenda

CFA is focused on bringing Arizonans together around a positive agenda based on where they agree on priorities to move the state forward. The Arizona Voters’ Agenda was launched as an extension of CFA’s survey research efforts to identify and create The Arizona We Want

The organization is bringing awareness to the findings from the Arizona Voters’ Agenda surveys to put the voices of Arizona voters at the forefront, get candidates and the media to reframe election discussions on what Arizonans agree on and care about for our state, and increase voter engagement by building a positive agenda that focuses on solutions desired by Arizonans across age, region, and political affiliation.  

CFA analyzed the statewide survey data to determine which issues make the cut for the Arizona Voters’ Agenda guide of policy items and value statements supported by voters.  Issues on the Arizona Voters’ Agenda meet all of the following criteria:

  • “Strongly Agree/Support” is 50% and above among All Likely Voters and
  • Total Support (i.e., the sum of "Somewhat Agree/Support" and "Strongly Agree/ Support") is 50% and above among every political affiliation (Republican, Independent/Unaffiliated, and Democrat) and age group (20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-64, 65+).

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda – Affordable Housing & Homelessness

Policy Items

Strongly Support

Total Support

Increasing housing affordability

68%

88%

*New Findings*

Encouraging workforce housing options for essential workers such as firefighters, police officers, teachers, and healthcare.

51%

78%

Encouraging apartment developers to dedicate a few available units to families who qualify for housing assistance.

51%

78%

*New Findings*

Value Statements

Strongly Agree

Total Agree

House prices and rental rates are out of control. Many essential workers are not able to afford housing in the communities they serve.

60%

80%

Landlords should not be allowed to keep a person out of housing based on how they pay for it – whether using their own funds or housing assistance.

59%

78%

Arizona must do more to make sure that housing options are affordable and available to middle- and low-income earners throughout the state.

57%

79%

State and local government have a role to play in making sure people who experience homelessness can access safe, affordable housing.

52%

83%

 

Political and age group breakdowns and more questions for candidates are available at ArizonaFuture.org/ArizonaVotersAgenda.

 

About the Arizona Voters’ Agenda Surveys

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda surveys were conducted among likely voters on April 12-19, 2022, and August 24, 2022, with a random sample of 500 people for each survey. The polls surveyed likely Arizona 2022 General Election voters with a history of electoral participation and were balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview surveys of voters were conducted in English and Spanish by HighGround Public Affairs to landline and cell phone users. Based on previous midterm election trends, the partisan advantage was set at +8% GOP. The margin of error is ±4.3%.

Survey Demographics

Survey Demographics

The Arizona Voters’ Agenda initiative is supported in part by Arizona Community Foundation, Helios Education Foundation, Pharos Foundation, Rodel Foundation of Arizona, Thomas R. Brown Family Foundation, and Southern Arizona Leadership Council. CFA also coordinated with Education Forward Arizona, who conducted an additional poll to gain deeper insights into likely Arizona voters’ priorities on education. The findings are available at educationforwardarizona.org.