Housing Affordability Strategy for Tucson is Delivering Results in First Year

On this day last year, Mayor Regina Romero introduced the Housing Affordability Strategy for Tucson (HAST) to be heard and later adopted unanimously by the City Council. With direction from the Mayor and City Council, the City of Tucson’s Housing and Community Development department worked collaboratively with the Commission on Equitable Housing and Development and held multiple public meetings in person and virtually. The plan includes an introduction to housing concepts, key data driving our decisions, and 10 policy initiatives. 

Tuesday, Dec. 20, at a regular meeting of the Mayor and Council, Housing and Community Development Director Liz Morales provided an update on the progress HCD has made with HAST in the past 12 months through the 10 policy initiatives highlighted in the plan. 

Watch the presentation from Director Morales to Mayor and Council 

  • Transform City-Owned Public Housing 
  • The City of Tucson currently owns and operates over 1,500 units of public housing, and HCD is creating a plan to decide on rehabbing or selling the units and re-investing that money in affordable housing projects 
  • Build Capacity in Tucson around Affordable Housing Development 
  • The City of Tucson has created the non-profit, El Pueblo Housing Development, to assist in developing HCD projects 
  • The City of Tucson hired Sarah Meggison as the Affordable Housing Development Manager for HCD 
  • Update Zoning Regulations to Encourage Affordable Housing 
  • Included affordable housing projects as eligible for requesting a parking reduction through the Individual Parking Plan (IPP) 
  • Study the Tucson market and the Sunshine Mile affordable housing incentive 
  • Develop Affordable and Mixed Income Housing on City-Owned Properties 
  • The City of Tucson has developed a real estate  tool to identify if vacant parcels are opportunities to build affordable housing or other mixed-use development. Through this tool, the City of Tucson has identified 29 possible locations. 
  • Sites In Phase 1 Development: 
  • Contzen Lots (Pima County Community Land Trust and Cuadro Design) 
  • 11th Avenue in Dunbar Spring neighborhood 
  • Westmoreland in Barrio Menlo Park 
  • Work through Site Analysis and Pre-Development on additional sites: 
  • Milagro on Oracle (No-Tel Motel) - 63 units of affordable housing for seniors. Project was made possible through LIHTC funding, the first in 10 years for the City of Tucson 
  • South 10th Ave, just south of 22nd Street – the City of Tucson has initiated a study on developing a 12-acre lot with mix-used housing and commercial development 
  • Amazon Motel – the City of Tucson submitted a $6 million grant request to the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) to buy and rehab the property on Miracle Mile to convert into 30 of permanent supportive housing 
  • Stone and Speedway, corner development 
  • Tucson House Annex, demolish existing singe-story City structure and build a four-story building with housing on three floors and supportive services on the first floor 
  • City of Tucson estimates to create at least 668 new housing units in the next 1-5 years 
  • Source of Income Protection 
  • The City of Tucson passed the first Source of Income Protection ordinance in Arizona, which prohibits landlords from rejecting applications from renters whose source of income is some form of legal sources such as Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) or SSI or veterans’ benefits 
  • Since the ordinance passing, the requests for tenancy have gone from an average of 14 requests per day to 40 requests per day 
  • Expand Efforts to Preserve and Enhance Existing Housing 
  • The City of Tucson began a pilot program to provide financial and technical assistance to low-income homeowners in Tucson that want to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their properties. Learn more about the Mi Casita GAP Grant 
  • Evaluate Expansion of the Affordable Housing Impact Fee Program 
  • Non-profit developers can apply for Impact Fee waivers for residential rental or homeownership development that is affordable to households that earn 100% of the area median income or less and that agree to maintain that affordability for no less than 20 years. 

Stay informed on the HAST Plan through the implementation tracker 

Read the full news release