Could Arizona’s Right to Discriminate Bill Hurt the Phoenix Housing Market?

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The Phoenix-area real estate industry has been somewhat tight-lipped on its opinion of the controversial “religious freedom” bill that’s waiting for Gov. Jan Brewer to either sign or veto. For instance, the Arizona Association of Realtors hasn’t responded to requests for comment. In addition, Doug Fulton, president of Tempe-based home builder Fulton Homes — who is usually outspoken on industry issues — declined to comment.

But the few local housing experts I did speak to collectively agree that Senate Bill 1062 being signed into law would be a damaging blow to the market and its recovery, which has been slowing in recent months.

The bill, they say, would not necessarily change the way real estate professionals do business. After all, discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is not protected under Arizona law. It is also not protected under the federal Fair Housing Act, which means it’s already legal in most states, including Arizona, to deny housing based on those factors. But it’s the negative perception of Arizona that would hurt the housing market. Experts say demand could fall and population growth slow.

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Authored By Kristena Hansen – See the Full Story at BizJournals.com

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