The City of Tucson is working toward bringing more affordable housing to the Tucson area. With a $50 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, city leaders have been working through a 10-phase plan. The Housing Affordability Strategy for Tucson outlines the steps toward more housing for people in need.
The City of Tucson recently purchased a plot of land on Speedway Boulevard and Stone Avenue in the Thrive in the ’05 area. The land will be used for affordable housing, which serves as an investment in the Thrive in the ’05 area after it saw an increase in crime and poverty rates.
Sohail Qureshi lives in the Dunbar Neighborhood, just west of the intersection of the new development. He’s lived in the area for 40 years and just wants his neighborhood to be safe. Qureshi wondered, “Who exactly would be moving in there is what we would like to know and what is the criteria?
He said with the stigma around affordable housing, he has his concerns. Still, he’s happy with the opportunity for those in need and is optimistic about the future.
We should not hold any sort of judgment over people who have hard times. None of them choose to have hard times. It just happens, said Qureshi. We want to be an example. Hey, we have affordable housing and look how good these people are.
As far as who the affordable housing will be for, Ann Chanecka, the Interim Director for the City of Tucson’s Housing and Community Development Department said, It will be affordable housing for people that earn less than 80% of the area median income.
There’s also the consideration for a need of workforce housing for teachers, nurses, and police officers. This will be considered as planning develops over the next few years.
We’re looking at breaking ground not for the next three or four years,” said Chanecka.
The City of Tucson expects the next steps to involve the community for input.