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Gottlieb Law - Future Affordable Housing Initiatives Arizona Legal Challenges for Real Estate Developers

The Future of Affordable Housing Initiatives in Arizona and Legal Challenges for Real Estate Developers

The Future of Affordable Housing Initiatives in Arizona and Legal Challenges for Real Estate Developers 2459 1638 Gottlieb Law

Most people that live in Arizona can understand the basic driving forces behind a housing shortage here and how it impacts their life.  As more people move to the Phoenix Valley and the state, there is increased demand for affordable housing.  Unfortunately, there are many challenges to building more housing throughout the state.  Those challenges combined with the growing population have driven up home prices and rental rates.  For real estate developers eager to bridge this gap, the road to building affordable housing can be a tricky one, fraught with various legal challenges. This article will delve into the most significant hurdles that developers face – the zoning process, community pushback, and financing difficulties – and will highlight how an experienced commercial real estate attorney can help navigate these challenges.

ASU Morrison Institute’s Housing Arizona Report

The Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University released a report in November of 2022 that detailed the most challenging issues faced by developers and outlined some ways for state and local governments to work with developers to create more affordable housing in Arizona.

For the report, they interviewed 15 active real estate developers in Arizona to identify the biggest hurdles to building more housing in general and gather ideas on solving them going forward.  There were three key issues mentioned by all the developers that took part in the research project; zoning issues, community pushback, and financing challenges.

Many cities in Arizona zoned the majority of their land for single family homes.  Those developers that want to pursue building apartments and multi-family complexes need to pursue rezoning the land before any development plans can proceed.  In most cities in Arizona, this is a time-consuming and slow process.

While most people agree that building more affordable housing is a good idea in theory, this sentiment can quickly change when it will be built down the road from their home and has the potential to lower their property values.  This can add complications and slow down the zoning process as many people file complaints against the project.  The study found that more than 30 apartment development projects in Phoenix were delayed or canceled due to aggressive complaints from members of the community.

Financing construction projects has generally become more challenging over the past few years as the costs of every aspect of these projects has increased.  Those financing challenges impact more projects in Arizona when combined with the first two issues of zoning and neighborhood pushback.

Proposed Solutions for Arizona Affordable Housing

Reducing zoning challenges and expediting the rezoning process for priority affordable housing projects was the most important proposed solution from the Housing Arizona report.  Encouraging cities and towns to revisit their single family zoning policies and reduce the red tape for development projects to get approval would allow Arizona as a whole to respond to housing demands much faster going forward.  The report detailed that Arizona is one of the few remaining states that does not allow local governments to enact mandatory inclusionary zoning so these initiatives would require new state legislation.

Navigating These Challenges with a Commercial Real Estate Attorney

These challenges can also represent opportunity for those developers that have a professional and experienced team to assist with navigating the process to identify potential areas well-suited for affordable housing development, get through the zoning process, craft a campaign to address community concerns, and establish flexible financing options for the project.  Here are a few of the key ways that an experienced commercial real estate attorney can assist developers of affordable housing in Arizona:

Getting Through the Zoning Process

In Arizona, as in many states, the zoning process can present a substantial hurdle to developing affordable housing. Zoning ordinances dictate the type of housing that can be built in certain areas and these can vary greatly between municipalities.

Many zones are designated only for single-family residences, limiting the potential for multi-unit developments often associated with affordable housing. Moreover, developers may need to apply for a zoning variance or a rezoning, which can be time-consuming, complex and uncertain.

An experienced commercial real estate attorney can provide invaluable guidance through this process. They can help developers understand and navigate local zoning laws, assist with applications for variances or rezoning, and represent the developer in hearings and appeals.

Handling Community Pushback

Community pushback is another challenge. Despite the urgent need for affordable housing, not all communities are welcoming of such projects. Fears around neighborhood character alteration, decreased property values, or increased traffic can lead to strong resistance. This opposition often takes the form of protests, lawsuits, or pressure on local politicians to deny necessary permits or rezoning requests.

Engaging a seasoned attorney can be crucial in these situations. They can facilitate community outreach to educate residents about the project’s benefits and allay fears, represent the developer in any legal disputes, and lobby local politicians to support the project.

Financing Difficulties

Perhaps one of the most daunting challenges developers face is securing financing for long-term real estate development projects, especially for affordable housing. Traditional lenders often perceive these projects as riskier due to the reduced profit margins compared to conventional housing developments. In addition, accessing public funds or subsidies, which often come with strings attached, can be a bureaucratic maze.

A commercial real estate attorney well-versed in affordable housing projects can provide strategic counsel here. They can help developers explore a range of funding options, negotiate loan terms, and ensure compliance with any conditions attached to public funds. They can also guide developers through the application process for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), a significant source of funding for affordable housing.

The Overall Role of an Experienced Commercial Real Estate Attorney

Given the complexities of developing affordable housing in Arizona, having a seasoned commercial real estate attorney on your side is not just advisable, but generally essential to the success of the project. They can guide you through the intricacies of the zoning process, help manage community relationships, and navigate the complex world of financing.  The role of a great real estate attorney goes beyond merely tackling these challenges. They can also advise on strategic matters such as site selection and risk assessment, and can provide proactive legal guidance to avoid pitfalls that could delay your project or increase its cost.

Building affordable housing is more than just a real estate project; it’s an investment in the community. Despite the hurdles, the long-term social and financial rewards can make it worthwhile to see these complicated development projects through. With the right legal partner, these challenges can be overcome, helping to make the goal of affordable housing in Arizona a reality.  The attorneys at Gottlieb Law can assist real estate developers as they tackle the myriad of challenges facing them as they look to build affordable housing in Arizona.  Contact our firm today at 602-899-8188 to schedule an initial consultation or make an appointment on our contact us page of the website.


Gottlieb Law - Monsoon Season Legal Issues in Arizona

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured in Maricopa Lawyer and AZ Big Media Sharing Monsoon Season Legal Issues

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured in Maricopa Lawyer and AZ Big Media Sharing Monsoon Season Legal Issues 2144 1373 Gottlieb Law

Founder Benjamin Gottlieb, of Gottlieb Law, PLC was featured in the June 2023 issue of Maricopa Lawyer, as well as the recent edition of AZ Big Media, discussing monsoon season in Arizona and various legal issues that can arise from it.

The featured article in Maricopa Lawyer can be read here:

The headlining article in the most recent edition of AZ Big Media can be read here:

For anyone needing assistance with real estate legal issues related to Monsoons or flooding, schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Gottlieb Law on our contact us page.

Benjamin Gottlieb Top 100 Lawyer Arizona 2023

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Awarded Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2023

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Awarded Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2023 2339 1707 Gottlieb Law

Gottlieb Law is proud to announce Founder Benjamin Gottlieb was selected for the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona 2023 list by AZ Business Magazine.

Per the recent release of the complete list, “Az Business magazine’s Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona for 2023 were selected from a pool of more than 2,000 of the state’s most talented and successful attorneys. Selections were made in conjunction with industry experts, using an algorithm that ranks the attorneys based on professional ratings, impact on their law firm, impact on the profession and community involvement. Law firms could have a maximum of three attorneys make the list in 2023.”

You can find the complete list with the feature section on Benjamin Gottlieb at the link below:

Gottlieb Law - Ahwatukee Foothills News 2

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured Article in Ahwatukee Foothills News

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb Featured Article in Ahwatukee Foothills News 763 240 Gottlieb Law

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb shared some insights for businesses struggling with rent concerns due to reduced profits in 2022 in the most recent release of Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Read the Full Article on Page 28 and 30 below:

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb on AZ Big Media’s Real Estate Pulse Showcase

Gottlieb Law Founder Benjamin Gottlieb on AZ Big Media’s Real Estate Pulse Showcase 150 150 Gottlieb Law

Reposted from AZ Big Media:

Ben Gottlieb, one of the most successful real estate attorneys in the Valley and founder of Gottlieb Law, says there are plenty of things buyers and sellers and developers should keep their eyes on heading into 2023. 

“We are in an interesting, evolving real estate dynamic right now,” Gottlieb says. “The law is a serious field, there are always a lot of moving parts. With that being said, there are a lot of real estate trends with legal implications that people should watch heading into 2023.”

In this episode of “Real Estate Pulse with Ben Gottlieb,” the law industry leader talks about some of the legal issues people need to know about heading into 2023 when it comes to all things real estate.

Gottlieb, 37, has racked up an impressive list of accomplishments during his 12-year career, a sampling of which includes:

• Selected to the Southwest Super Lawyers Rising Stars list for the past six years, a designation given to no more than 2.5 percent of the attorneys in any practice area;

• Named to the Top 100 Lawyers in Arizona list (2020-2022);

• AZ Big Media’s Arizona Business Leaders list (2020-2022);

• Arizona Business Magazine’s People to Know in Commercial Real Estate (2021);

• Best Lawyers List (2022).

“We will continue to use state-of-the-art technology to help solve legal problems faster,” Gottlieb says. “And by combining legal talent that has decades of successful experience in the law with its high-caliber collaborative approach and top-of-the-line technology, Gottlieb Law will continue to deliver superior legal services and outcomes for its clients.”  

Benjamin L. Gottlieb is the founding partner of Gottlieb Law. He has an unblemished trial record and is recognized as one of the top real estate attorneys in Arizona. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University, with high honors and his Juris Doctor from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University where he was a Pedrick Scholar and served as the managing editor of the Arizona State Law Journal. In the latter capacity, Benjamin was the recipient of the Outstanding Managing Editor award. Gottlieb also is an Arizona Department of Real Estate-approved instructor and teaches continuing education courses on real estate law to realtors.