Daily Archives: August 23, 2008
According to the 2004 report, “Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown,” a recent study of housing in downtown Phoenix shows a striking dichotomy between demand for affordable residential units and the products that have been and are being developed. The study indicates that while the median price of a new attached home in Phoenix is $177,000, a similar property in downtown Phoenix would cost approximately $300,000 (Meyers Group, 2003, Executive Summary). Part of this dichotomy results from the destruction of affordable housing associated with the development of the city’s downtown infrastructure. And part of the problem is based on the City of Phoenix’s policy of providing incentives, including generous tax benefits, to developers who wish to build high-end housing.
The result is that almost all new units developed in Phoenix during the past decade are affordable only to those with minimum salaries of $65,000, whereas the medium CMA (Consolidated Metropolitan Area) income is $20,352, a reflection of the fact that 41% of downtown residents are employed in the service sector, earning an average of $7 an hour. Beyond this, 93% of apartments in downtown Phoenix are one-bedroom units, whereas 39.1% of the population consists of low-income Latino families. Affordable housing units renting from $298 to $467 a month in downtown Phoenix are always 100% full, as compared to market-rate housing, where vacancy rates fluctuate between 10-13%.
Photo montage of downtown Phoenix’s Fox Theater, demolished to make way for a city bus terminal, which in turn was torn down…