RI General Assembly considers a bill that would provide regulatory flexibility to construct Accessory Dwelling Units


Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become increasingly important in enabling older adults to maintain their independence and continue living within their communities. ADUs are separate living spaces that are added to existing homes or properties, providing an affordable housing option for older adults who may not be able to afford the rising cost of living or who require additional support and care as they age. By allowing older adults to live independently in their own ADUs, they can remain close to family and friends while still enjoying the privacy and freedom of their own space. ADUs also offer a way for communities to retain their diversity and character while accommodating changing demographic needs, making them a valuable resource for promoting aging in place and supporting healthy and vibrant communities. In a recent article, Herb Weiss contextualizes legislation designed to support this model in Rhode Island better. 

After AARP Rhode Island’s successful efforts to pass legislation last year, giving more flexibility to the types of structures and arrangements that would quality as accessory dwelling units (ADUs), during this year’s legislative session the state’s largest aging group is working closely with state lawmakers, aging and house groups to advance H 6082. Introduced by Rep. June Speakman (D-District 68, Bristol/Warren), the bill makes further improvements to enable more Rhode Islanders an opportunity to develop ADUs on their property. H 6082 was written in collaboration with AARP Rhode Island, for whom increasing the production of ADUs has been a primary policy goal for several years. 

AARP Rhode Island State Director Catherine Taylor stated that passing H 6082 would be a “great step forward” to improve the existing ADU legislation and to provide municipalities with guidance on how to apply the law in their locality. According to AARP Rhode Island’s November 2021 Vital Voices survey over 54% of Rhode Islanders over age 45 would consider creating an ADU if the space was available. In addition, a strong majority (84%) of Rhode Islanders aged 45 and over strongly or somewhat support town ordinances that makes it easier for property owners to create an ADU.

“Allowing ADUs by right where the proposed ADU is located within the existing footprint of the primary structure or existing secondary attached or detached structure and does not expand the footprint of the structure will provide the housing options and security that Rhode Island residents are looking for,” notes Taylor.



Read the full article at https://rinewstoday.com/ri-general-assembly-considers-adu-granny-flats-housing-options/