/ Modified mar 18, 2024 4:38 p.m.

Hobbs vetoes Arizona Starter Homes Act despite bipartisan support

The bill would have banned cities from requiring homeowners associations and minimize single-family home sizes.

360 cap dome pretty The dome atop the Arizona Capitol Museum at the State Capitol in Phoenix. January 2021.
AZPM Staff

Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed the Arizona Starter Homes Act– a bill that gained both bipartisan support and opposition for its approach to the state’s housing crisis.

“Unfortunately, this expansive bill is a step too far and I know we can strike a better balance,” Hobbs said in her veto letter Monday afternoon. “This is unprecedented legislation that would put Arizonans at the center of a housing reform experiment with unclear outcomes.”

The bill would have stopped cities with a population size of 75,000 or more from requiring homeowner’s associations and regulating community amenities as well as minimizing the size of single-family homes.

However, according to the Governor’s letter, over 90% of constituents who contacted her office, including community leaders, requested a veto.

“Over forty mayors and city council members – Democrats and Republicans from Nogales to Superior to Tucson to Yuma, and every other corner of our state – have expressed concerns about the impacts on infrastructure, water consumption, land use planning, lack of affordability guarantees, and potential legal consequences,” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said that ahead of her veto, the Department of Defense and the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona shared public safety concerns. One concern surrounded the issue of increased density near military installations that are considered Accident Prone Zones, which would put both military operations and homeowners at risk.

“The DoD is concerned that community safety is eroded if the protections in the existing comprehensive and general plans are erased by HB2570,” the DoD said.

Elected officials are now pushing back on Hobbs’ veto saying that she “worsened the housing shortage crisis in Arizona by vetoing the Arizona Starter Homes Act.”

“The Governor has a track record of pushing red herrings to justify her vetoes against common sense legislation, and her statement today is no different,” Senate President Warren Petersen said. “No, this bill does not harm military operations, nor create safety issues for cities. Instead of listening to the citizens, she’s listening to the people who created the problem. This legislation had strong bipartisan support, and this veto will certainly go down as one of her biggest failures.”

Critics of Hobbs’ veto are not just limited to Republicans. Democratic House Representative Analise Ortiz is one of the lawmakers who joined in bipartisan support of the bill.

“HB2570 was a historic bipartisan solution to our state’s housing crisis and it would have created a pathway to the American dream of homeownership that too many Arizonans find themselves locked out of,” Ortiz said. “I am equally frustrated that while other states are proactively addressing housing in an urgent and deliberate manner, Arizona continues to kick the can down the road. Status quo is clearly not working and believing that things will change without policies like the Arizona Starter Homes Act is, at best, wishful thinking.”

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