ADUs: A Creative Way to Address Housing Affordability and Equity

The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies recently published an article about the potential benefits of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). It discusses the challenges of building ADUs and the efforts that states and localities have made to encourage their construction.

Accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as granny flats, in-law suites, or carriage houses, are secondary housing units located on the same property as a single-family home. They can be attached to the main house or detached. ADUs can provide a variety of benefits for older adults, including:

  • Affordability: ADUs can provide affordable housing for older adults who are on fixed incomes or who want to downsize without leaving their community.
  • Accessibility: ADUs can be designed to be accessible to older adults with mobility issues.
  • Aging in place: ADUs can allow older adults to remain in their homes and communities as they age.
  • Caregiving: ADUs can be used to house family members or caregivers who provide support to older adults.
  • Income generation: Older adults can rent out their ADUs to generate income.

In recent years, there has been a growing movement to encourage the construction of ADUs. A number of states and localities have passed laws that make it easier to build and rent out ADUs. For example, some states, Rhode Island being one, have passed laws that require by-right approval of ADUs, which means that homeowners do not need to obtain special permission from their local government to build an ADU. Read more at…