Are We Doing This Right? – Granny Flats Edition

Are We Doing This Right? – Granny Flats Edition

Listen to this episode in Apple Podcasts.

Cities across the country face a shortage of affordable housing, despite a nationwide glut of single-family homes. Accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—often referred to as granny flats or other quaint-sounding names—have emerged as one way to quickly add affordable units to single-family neighborhoods, without tearing down existing homes.

Yet, in most cities, they remain illegal to build. And while some cities have re-legalized them, they often put in place so much red tape that few units end up actually getting built.

In this episode, we cover:

  • the myriad arguments in favor of building more ADUs

  • some common pushback and reasons why ADU allowances aren’t more common

  • the types of people who would benefit from and/or occupy ADUs

  • how some cities are discouraging the construction of ADUs even when they technically allow them

  • suggestions for what your city can do to enable and encourage residents to build ADUs

Want to research this further? Here are some of the resources we found helpful:

The ABCs of ADUs: A guide to Accessory Dwelling Units and how they expand housing option for all ages

All About Accessory Dwelling Units

Santa Cruz Implements “Granny Flat” Program

Why tiny ADUs may be a big answer to the urban housing crisis

American Planning Association KnowledgeBase: Accessory Dwelling Units

"Are We Doing This Right?" is a new series where we dig deeper into an issue that affects cities across North America, bust (or uphold) a few myths, set some context, and give our frank opinions about whether or not we could be doing things better. Check out the other episodes with "Are We Doing This Right?" in this podcast feed if you dig this one. And we're always taking submissions:

Your hosts for this episode: Jordan Clark & AJ Fawver.

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Are We Doing This Right? – Tiny Homes Edition

Are We Doing This Right? – Tiny Homes Edition

Property tax caps aren't helping

Property tax caps aren't helping