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Tempe YIMBY responds to city council approval of General Plan 2050


Tempe City Council voted unanimously last night to send General Plan 2050 to voters for approval next March. Arizona cities are required to update their general plans every ten years. 

Tempe YIMBY (“Yes In My Backyard”) worked to bring out an unprecedented number of typically underrepresented groups to participate in the general plan process, including students, renters, teachers and young people. At the final meeting, a supermajority of speakers supported more housing and density in Tempe. 

Throughout the process, we saw a small but vocal group work to actively reduce much-needed housing in the plan. Growth of jobs and population has outpaced our housing stock, causing rents to skyrocket. 

Tempe needs many more homes to achieve affordability, especially near jobs and transit. While we think this plan falls short in many key ways, it still is a step forward. We will work to see it passed when it goes to a vote next year. 

Let’s be clear — Tempe must go much further to increase housing supply. 

Unfortunately, we heard many of the same excuses about state preemption, ignoring that Tempe has the power to enact proven housing reforms being enacted across the country, such as allowing more housing types and infill density. This speaks to the need for a comprehensive statewide approach to increasing housing supply, but a forward-looking city like Tempe should not wait for the Arizona legislature to enact housing best practices. 

As we head towards Tempe’s March election, it is clear that young people and renters are paying attention like never before. 

Last night’s attendance showed that there is growing demand to see Tempe leaders act on the housing shortage. 

We desperately need to see real solutions from the Mayor and City Council—not excuses—while housing prices continue to grow out of control.

We call on the city to put forward a comprehensive plan to streamline and allow for affordable missing-middle housing across the city, more transit-oriented development and rolling back parking mandates.  


Tempe YIMBY was founded in 2019 by students at Arizona State to advocate for abundant and affordable housing, public transit, and sustainability in Tempe. 

For more information, email TempeYIMBY@gmail.com.