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More housing legislation on Hobbs’ desk, unclear if she’ll sign

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(The Center Square) – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs will decide the fate of two more housing bills that hit her desk this week.

On Wednesday, the House passed legislation that will allow Accessory Dwelling Units statewide with House Bill 2720. House Bill 2721 will also loosen regulations to require municipalities with 75,000 “or more” people to make it easier to create “duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and townhomes.”

The Center Square reached out to the governor’s office, but they said they do not comment on bills that are on her desk.

“Arizonans across the state are being decimated by high housing costs and unrelenting inflation,” Rep. Michael Carbone, R-Buckeye, who sponsored the bills, said in a statement. “Right now, our teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers can’t afford to live in the communities that they serve. Our children and grandchildren can’t afford to live in the communities that they grew up in. Most Arizonans have been priced out of the housing economy – it’s wrong and un-American.”

According to Axios, the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, which is a group that plays an influential role in shaping policy impacting municipalities, is opposed to the ADU legislation because of concerns about them being used as short-term rentals on platforms like Vrbo and AirBNB, but the group backs the “middle housing” bill. On the city level, Phoenix gave the green light to casitas in September, The Center Square reported.

Both bills received bipartisan support but also garnered bipartisan opposition in both chambers. The ADU bill passed the Senate 17-11 and passed the House 35-22. The “middle housing bill” passed the Senate 21-7 and passed the House 42-15.

“I cannot go a single day without hearing from my constituents about the high housing costs in our state that is decimating my community and locking families in poverty,” Sen. Anna Hernandez, D-Phoenix, said in a statement. “We worked tirelessly with housing and community stakeholders in order to craft this historic and bipartisan solution that we are proud to send to the Governor.”

Hobbs has signed and vetoed a mix of housing legislation this session. She vetoed the “Arizona Starter Homes Act” which would have cut back a variety of regulations despite municipal guidelines, and she signed a bill giving more leeway to convert commercial properties to residential ones, according to the Arizona Capitol Times.

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