Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are generally known as casitas in New Mexico. Albuquerque has abundance of casitas in the old town, downtown, north valley and university neighborhoods. These units were developed organically to respond to the housing shortages (1880s, 1940s, 1970s, and 1980s) of those times.

Today's housing shortage is acute and the largest Albuquerque has experienced with the need for an additional 13,000 rental units. If 5% of Albuquerque home owners built a casita on their lot, the housing crisis could be solved today.


  • Step 1

    Sign up for additional information (see website page below)

  • Step 2

    Complete the attached (link) casitas guideline to see if your lot might be conducive to adding another unit

  • Step 2a

    Check and see if your neighborhood is deemed historic - if you are not sure, contact Leslie Naji at

  • Step 3

    Review the plans provided by the ULI design competition (this is in works) and choose the plan that matches your neighborhood or sense of style

  • Step 4

    Review the range of costs provided by local home builders, interview your builder and be prepared to sign a contract

  • Step 5

    Call (TLC?) to do a site infrastructure quote for upgrading electrical, sewer, tapping into the current water line

  • Step 6

    Review your choices of financing/lenders

  • Step 7

    Sign contracts for #4, #5, and #6

  • Step 8

    Familiarize yourself with the Uniform Code for Landlord/ Resident relations act and consider signing up to be a member at the Apartment Association of NM to have access to their lease and support group for independent rental owners as well as education courses for fair housing

  • Step 9

    Review market information to determine your likely rental rate range and resident selection criteria