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What is an ADU?

Updated: Mar 7

ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit, which is a secondary housing unit on a single-family residential lot. It is also known as a granny flat, in-law unit, or backyard cottage. ADUs can be attached or detached from the primary house and can be used as a separate living space for family members, guests, or renters.

ADUs are gaining popularity as a solution to housing shortages and affordability issues in many urban areas. They offer an opportunity to add housing options without changing the character of the neighborhood or adding significant infrastructure. ADUs are typically smaller than the primary residence and can range from 400 to 1,200 square feet. They can include a bedroom, bathroom, living area, and a kitchen or kitchenette.

ADUs are subject to local zoning laws and regulations, which vary by location. Some cities have specific rules and requirements for ADUs, such as minimum and maximum size, setback requirements, parking requirements, and occupancy limits. ADUs can be rented out for additional income or used as a home office, guest house, or multigenerational housing. ADUs can also add value to a property and provide homeowners with additional flexibility in how they use their property.

Overall, ADUs can offer an affordable and sustainable housing option in many urban areas, providing a flexible and adaptable solution to housing shortages and affordability issues.

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