The ABCs of ADUs A guide to Accessory Dwelling Units and how they expand housing options for people

An accessory dwelling unit is a small residence that shares a single-family lot with a larger primary dwelling.

• As an independent living space, an ADU is self-contained, with its own kitchen or kitchenette, bathroom and living/ sleeping area. (Garage apartments and backyard cottages are each a type of ADU.)

• ADUs can enable homeowners to provide needed housing for their parents, adult children, grandchildren or other loved ones.

• An ADU can provide older adults a way to downsize on their own property while a tenant or family member resides in the larger house.

• Since homeowners can legally rent out an ADU house or apartment, ADUs are an often-essential income source.

• ADUs help to improve housing affordability and diversify a community’s housing stock without changing the physical character of a neighborhood.

• ADUs are a beneficial — and needed — housing option for people of all ages.


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