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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Understanding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a self-contained living space that is secondary to the main residence on a property. It is also known as garden suite, laneway suite, accessory suite or tiny home. ADUs are usually detached from the primary dwelling, such as a garage, standalone cottage or apartment on the same property. There are different types of ADUs, such as Detached ADUs (separate structures), Attached ADUs (extensions to the primary residence) and Converted ADUs (repurposing garages or basements).

Why ADUs are Growing in Popularity

  1. Housing Affordability: With rising housing costs, ADUs provide an affordable housing option for homeowners and renters alike. They allow for increased housing density without the need for new developments.

  2. Rental Income Opportunities: ADUs offer homeowners the opportunity to generate rental income by renting out the unit. This additional income stream can help offset mortgage payments and other expenses.

  3. Multigenerational Living: ADUs accommodate multigenerational living arrangements, providing privacy and independence for family members while allowing them to remain close by.

  4. Aging in Place: ADUs can support aging in place by providing a separate, accessible living space for older adults. They offer a sense of autonomy while remaining connected to family members.

  5. Home Office or Studio: Many people use ADUs as home offices, studios, or creative spaces. They provide a quiet and dedicated area for work or hobbies away from the main residence.

Uses and Advantages of Building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

  1. Additional Income: Building an ADU creates an additional income stream through rental payments, making homeownership more financially feasible.

  2. Flexible Living Arrangements: ADUs offer flexibility in living arrangements, allowing for multigenerational living, guest accommodation, or workspace options.

  3. Increased Property Value: Adding an ADU can increase the overall value of a property, attracting potential buyers and enhancing investment returns.

  4. Affordable Housing Solution: ADUs address the need for affordable housing by utilizing existing space on properties and providing options for renters.

  5. Community Integration: ADUs contribute to community integration by accommodating diverse housing needs within existing neighborhoods, fostering inclusivity and diversity.