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Adding affordable homes with transportation nearby

Pima County encouraging housing near bus lines
Posted at 7:58 PM, May 28, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County is making changes to encourage more low income housing. The change is designed with transportation in mind too.

For a lot of people living on a bus line is a lifeline to connect to jobs and everything else they need to live. Now Pima County is working to make it easier to build housing people can afford, right on a transit line.

With a real need for affordable housing,Pima County has changed zoning rules to make it easier to use land zoned for commercial use for apartments and other housing.

Because people who have trouble affording a home may have trouble affording a car, the county’s made it a priority to encourage affordable homes along transit lines.

Bruce Sillings has a place to live, but he likes the idea of using commercial land to build more homes close to the bus.

“I don't drive anymore so I'm totally dependent on buses. And as it is, even if you're on a bus, you still got a walk a long way from just crossing the street, you know, I mean, a lot of walking to do.”

As CEO at Primavera Foundation, it’s Tisha Tallman’s mission to help people overcome the challenges that keep them from secure, affordable places to live. She says Tucson needs to add more than 130 thousand places to live, so it’s a big help to open more land for residential construction and a great idea to make it close to the bus lines.

“So for the county to recognize the importance of having affordable housing along transportation corridors is a huge step up because it's going to provide individuals with more opportunity to get to schools, get to jobs and to receive services.”

Tallman sees Pima County’s move as part of state and local government making it easier to pump up housing supply with zoning changes and ideas like approving small casitas.