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Nikki Amberg looks to tackle housing issues in Tempe city council race

Amberg, a former city community council board member, wants to focus on issues around housing


Tempe City Council campaign signs in Tempe on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, and Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. Illustrations added on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. 

Tempe City Council Candidate Nikki Amberg is running for Tempe city council to fix affordable housing, unhoused population and government transparency issues.

Amberg, who graduated from LSU before moving to Tempe 25 years ago, worked in consulting and non-profits. She supports the Tempe General Plan 2050, which will be on the ballot March 12, 2024. 

Tempe Tomorrow, the slogan of the Tempe General Plan 2050, will bring the right amount of responsible development and revitalization efforts that Tempe needs, according to Amberg.

"I urge Tempeans to join me in voting Prop 478 for a more climate-friendly, affordable and inclusive Tempe," Amberg said in a statement.

Amberg's path to becoming a city council candidate started with her work on a Tempe City Community Council board from 2001 to 2007, where she said she got her first look at the needs and wants of a community.

She said her time working at the state senate mader her view issues on both a statewide and regional level. Now, being a candidate, she said she hopes to work with other cities in the region to find solution some statewide issues, like the problems faced by people experiencing homelessness. 

"I don't think that (Tempeans) care very much about the political boundary lines separating the cities," Amberg said. "If we could, as a region, focus our energy on providing services as a region to these folks, I think we can actually make a dent in the problem." 

Nolan Williams, ASU alumnus, Tempe resident and real estate agent, believes housing availability is the "No. 1" issue on this year's city ballot.

"You don't get to another policy until you hit your fifth priority because housing is that big of an issue," Williams said. "We have a vacancy rate that is one of the lowest in the state."

That vacancy rate – found by calculating the percentage of unoccupied rental properties during a particular time period – is 4.9% as of November 2023, according to Jeff Tamulevich, the city's community development director.

"Imagine that you go to a grocery store, and there's no food on the shelves," Williams added.

Amberg sees a solution to the housing availability crisis in the Tempe General Plan 2050, and she said she hopes voters will approve the ballot measure.

Amberg also said police, fire and other public infrastructure are high priorities for her and that 

"Our first responders are some of the best in the state," Amberg said. "That's why one of my policy avenues or one of my policy focuses is just making sure that the city of Tempe is putting the resources in core city services, and I absolutely 100% support our public safety folks."

Amberg said she wants to work to make sure public infrastructure is not affected by the state rental tax repeal, which goes into effect in 2025.   

Nikki Amberg and the other city council candidates will be on the ballot on March 12, along with Proposition 478, which would adopt the Tempe General Plan 2050.

Edited by Grey Gartin, Walker Smith and Shane Brennan

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