ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Maya Sutton, the President of the Inez Neighborhood Association near Pennsylvania and India School, is against a proposed bill that would allow more people in Albuquerque to build a casita on their property. Those people would need to meet specific location and lot size requirements

The casita, which couldn’t be more than 750 square feet, could be a rental or a home for a family member. Sutton worries about her property value and traffic.

“How would people have access? We all have high walls and closed lock gates. We’d have to open those and have people come into the backyards, and what would their address be? How would they get mail and packages? How would police and fire service them if there was an emergency?”

Right now, the only R-1 properties, or single-family home lots, allowed to build a casita, are downtown and along parts of Central meeting the proper requirements. This proposal would expand that too much of Albuquerque.

Eric Griego Montoya with the Mayor’s Office said this is just one of the ways the Keller Administration is addressing the housing crisis in the city as part of the recently announced Housing Forward Initiative.

“We are 30,000 units short of housing in this city, and we need every possible option to expand our housing stock. This is not going to take care of the whole problem, but this is an important policy change.”

The bill was introduced in the Environmental Planning Commission Thursday morning. The city said they have received a lot of positive feedback and hope the city council will adopt some form of the proposal in the next few months.

“This is actually a very positive step forward to help us build a stronger, more inclusive, more economically dynamic city and help everybody’s property values actually increase,” Griego Montoya said.

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The city explained it’s in the process of getting community input and is encouraging everyone to participate in future meetings. Once the proposal works its way through the committee process, it heads to the full city council.