A new report released by the Arizona Department of Housing shows that home prices in the state’s rural areas are climbing so high that many teachers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, government employees and retail workers can’t afford to live there.
High housing costs are making it difficult for Flagstaff to attract city employees and college professors. Payson can’t recruit enough new police officers. In Yuma, many retail workers must work two jobs to buy a home. Restaurant workers in Lake Havasu are commuting more than 60 miles a day to find affordable housing.
In Flagstaff, the median home price is $252,000, and it would take an hourly wage of $35.07 to afford to buy a home. The northern Arizona city’s average hourly wage for employees is $11.04.