What's an Accessory Dwelling Unit, also known as an ADU?

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a self-contained living unit located on the same property as a primary residential dwelling. It is a secondary housing unit that is typically smaller and separate from the main house, providing an additional living space within the same lot. ADUs can come in various forms, such as converted garages, basement apartments, or detached structures like cottages or granny flats.

ADUs have gained popularity in recent years due to their many benefits. First, they provide a solution to the growing need for affordable housing. ADUs offer more affordable options for renters or individuals seeking housing, especially in high-cost areas where housing availability is limited. By creating additional units on existing properties, ADUs can help increase housing supply without the need for extensive new construction.

Second, ADUs promote multi-generational living and flexibility. They can provide an opportunity for aging parents or adult children to live independently while remaining close to their family members. ADUs can also serve as flexible spaces that can be used for various purposes, such as home offices, guest houses, or rental income properties.

Third, ADUs can contribute to sustainable development and urban infill. By utilizing existing land and infrastructure, ADUs make efficient use of resources and reduce the need for suburban developments. They can help address urban density challenges by increasing housing options in established neighborhoods without dramatically altering the existing character.

Lastly, ADUs can provide an additional income source for homeowners. Renting out an ADU can generate rental income and help homeowners offset their mortgage payments or other expenses. This can be particularly advantageous for homeowners who may be facing financial constraints or seeking to maximize the use of their property.

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