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Tucson will now allow backyard casitas after City Council vote

Monday, October 25, 2021   /   by Adam Donaldson-Moxley

Tucson will now allow backyard casitas after City Council vote

Article originally posted on tucson.com on October 24th, 2021

Casitas will now be allowed on residential lots in Tucson following the City Council’s approval of a new ordinance this week.
The change will go into effect in mid-November and will allow residents to build the small houses also called accessory dwelling units or ADUs on lots across the city. Supporters said the decision is one step toward increasing the number of housing options in Tucson.

Casitas have been lauded as a better alternative to nursing homes for senior citizens. The units are built alongside existing houses and have full kitchens, so they can allow elderly people to live independently while still being close to caretakers.

Supporters said casitas can also help large families that need more living space, be used to house young adults who might struggle to afford an apartment and create more rental options citywide.

“I think that it’s not going to solve our housing crisis in and of itself,” said Ann Chanecka, the deputy director of Housing and Community Development in Tucson. “I think right now given the incredibly high rising cost of housing and not having the stock to meet the current demand, we need all of the tools we can use.”

Tucsonans who already have casitas might be entitled to extra cash as early as next spring. Housing and Community Development plans to fund repairs and provide technical assistance to help residents bring the units into compliance.

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