/ Modified may 22, 2024 2:38 p.m.

Hobbs signs housing bills that encourage middle housing and casitas

According to Arizona State University's Morrison Institute for Public Policy, about 50% of land in Arizona is zoned for single-family homes. This new legislation will help combat that.

360 new housing tucson A housing subdivision under construction in Tucson off Silverbell Road. December 2020.
Robert Lindberg/AZPM Staff

Accessory dwelling units, also known as casitas, will now be legal across the state after Governor Katie Hobbs signed H.B. 2720 Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m glad the legislature heard my calls to come to the table to pass common sense, bipartisan legislation that will expand housing options and help mitigate the effects of rising costs to make life more affordable for everyday Arizonans,” Hobbs said in a press release.

Casitas are small, secondary homes located on the same lot as an existing residence. Tucson first led the move towards casitas as a means of increasing affordable housing in 2022. Last year, Phoenix followed suit passing similar regulations that would allow casitas.

The new statewide regulation, which gained bipartisan support and hesitation, will allow cities with a population of more than 75,000 to institute regulations for casitas. The bill also bans municipalities from requiring that ADUs match the exterior designs of the single-family dwelling that is on the same property and it also bans requiring a pre-existing relationship between the owner or occupant of the single-family dwelling and the ADU tenet.

Hobbs also signed H.B. 2721, which requires cities with populations of 75,000 or more to adopt regulations that encourage different types of housing units like middle housing, instead of just allowing single-family homes. The League of Arizona Cities and Towns supported H.B. 2721, saying it gives more adorable housing options for first-time homebuyers

“The League recognizes the urgent need for increased housing supply that’s safe, sustainable, and affordable for all Arizonans,” Yuma Mayor and League President Douglas Nicholls said. “We applaud Governor Hobbs for signing HB2721 and are proud to have taken a leadership role in joining our legislative partners in supporting this bill and others that will have a positive impact on Arizona’s housing landscape.”

However, the League did not support the new statewide casita policy saying the legislation did not address short-term rental loopholes.

“It could open the door for an influx of units that can be used as Airbnb’s or vacation rentals,” the League said.

However, Hobbs says that will be dealt with later on.

“Moving forward, I hope we can work together to address short-term rentals that displace long-term community residents and crack down on speculation by out-of-state real estate investors that drives up the cost of housing for Arizonans,” Hobbs said.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona