Santa Fe approves long-term casita rentals

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Santa Fe will now allow homeowners to rent out their casitas to long-term tenants. “We need to speak to the housing needs of all people in the city, and we need more options for more people,” Mayor Alan Webber said.

City council relaxed restrictions on secondary homes, or “accessory dwelling units,” most of which previously could only be used as guest-houses.

Council also dropped a requirement that the owner must live in one of the two dwellings on a given property. Councilor Carol Romero-Wirth cast the only “no” vote, raising concerns the idea has not been thoroughly explored.

“We’re going to rent a casita, how many people are going to live there? What are our standards in terms of making sure these are livable places?” she said.

Dozens of residents on both sides spoke at Wednesday night’s meeting. Supporters said it will provide much-needed affordable housing options. Others expressed concern it will lead to the commercialization of neighborhoods.

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