Tempe Moves Ahead On Affordable 'Humble Homes' Project

By Mariana Dale
Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 5:05am
Updated: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 6:58am
(Photo courtesy of Newtown Community Development Corporation/Rendering by Kellogg & Associates)
An example of what one of the small affordable homes planned for Tempe might look like.

Tempe officials hope a small project could have a big impact on the city’s affordable housing availability.

The City Council on Thursday approved negotiations with Newtown Community Development Corporation to build a “humble home” pilot project in the Jen Tilly Terrace neighborhood.

The homes would measure around 600 square feet vs. tiny homes, which are usually under 400 square feet.

“We really want to create a small-house neighborhood of affordable homes with convenient access to light rail, the future Tempe streetcar and all the other cool amenities that are in that area all that are within our community land trust,” said David Crummey, Newtown real estate development manager.

Newtown will purchase or lease the 0.67 acre city-owned property at 1443 S. Rita Lane and build up to 13 units. The city reached out to more than 400 vendors. Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona was the other finalist for the project.

Newtown’s community land trust ensures buyers get an affordable price for the home when they agree to pass on the savings to the person if they sell the house. 

“One of the biggest concerns we have is ... not just for the first-home buyer, but the affordability over the long term,” Crummey said. 

Newtown also plans to create a rainwater harvest and grey water recycling system to water the property’s landscaping.

Councilwoman Lauren Kuby says the original idea came from ASU students.

“They can serve as a model for infill development around the city because there are little plots that could have similar development that could have density, but not necessarily be skyscrapers,” Kuby said.  

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