Up for Growth, a cross-sector member network committed to solving the nation’s housing shortage and affordability crisis through data-driven research and evidence-based policy, has found that housing underproduction in Arizona reached a housing shortage of 120,306 homes in 2021, earning a ninth-place ranking among U.S. states for the severity of its housing deficit.

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Nationwide housing underproduction reached 3.9 million homes in 2021, a 3 percent jump from 2019, according to Housing Underproduction in the U.S. 2023, a longitudinal study of housing trends. The report also shows a national housing deficit spreading to America’s suburbs, small towns, and rural areas – a dramatic shift from earlier findings that revealed a crisis driven primarily by shortages in U.S. coastal and urban areas.

“Not a single state is providing enough housing for its citizens, and the nation is poorer, less diverse, and less dynamic than it could be if everyone who wanted it had access to affordable shelter in high-opportunity areas,” said Mike Kingsella, Chief Executive Officer of Up for Growth. “Policymakers must make the straightforward but difficult choice to prioritize new funding sources that allow for diverse housing types, to invest in construction innovations, and to bolster infrastructure funding despite the risks posed by NIMBY opposition. Only then will we slow the pace of housing underproduction and, over time, begin to reverse it.”

For the first time in nearly a decade, housing shortages eased in the country’s major metropolitan areas as thousands of Americans chose to abandon high-cost urban centers during the pandemic. From 2019-2021 this migration created an 11 percent spike in the housing deficit in non-urban areas, and led to a 32 percent increase in the number of U.S. counties – mostly rural and suburban – with housing shortages.

“On its surface, an easing of the housing shortage in urban areas seems like positive news for homeowners and renters. Instead, it tells the story of a deepening crisis resulting from a century of exclusionary housing policy and set off nearly a decade ago by major demographic shifts, a historic economic recession, and chronic housing underproduction,” said Kingsella. “The COVID-19 pandemic enabled thousands of Americans, abruptly freed from the need to go into offices every day, to abandon high-cost urban centers in favor of suburbs, small towns, and rural communities where the housing crisis has intensified.”