Hi Kristy. Welcome back to JustAnswer, and thanks for your question.
The residential area nearest the University of Tucson is called the XXXXX XXXXX Neighborhood. You might want to rent an apartment or 'cottage' at first, while you search for a house. This area of 'Hawthorne Manor' looks like a nice one: http://www.qualprop.com/apts/
You can see more important facts about Tucson, here, as related by a native New Yorker who lived there:http://www.u.arizona.edu/~wbraynen/tucson/about.html
'Gated communities' doesn't refer to lot of crime, but are usually considered more desirable because visitors need to punch in a code at the gated entrance of the neighborhood/development, which calls the phone of the person they're visiting, and then the resident pushes a button on the phone to open the gate and let them in. Gated communities are advertised as such, to help you feel it's more safe/secure, and in most cases, it may be, but in my experience, many are usually accessible (on foot) without having to go through the gate. A more secure community would be one with an actual security guard who needs to 'check in' every visitor/guest and call the resident, or see the visitor on a list which the resident provides. That more efficiently controls who goes in and out.
As with many cities, Tucson has it's share of upscale neighborhoods (mainly in it's suburbs) and it's less affluent neighborhoods; you can read more statistics about the city, here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucson,_Arizona
Unfortunately, the crime rate in Tucson is considered high: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/hourlyupdate/278993.php
but, then again, it depends on your actual location.
Tucson's economy is strong and growing: http://www.treoaz.org/News-Center-Tucson-Regional-Economy.aspx
You can find out more about the real estate market in Tucson, here:http://www.thetucsonexperts.com/
You would benefit by discussing the pros and cons of buying a house and selling it later, with an experienced local real estate and financial professional familiar with the area.
I hope your daughter enjoys a wonderful college experience and all will work out well, if you decide to make the move to Tucson.
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Edited by Cher on 1/10/2010 at 9:04 PM EST