If we're going to create an equitable city with an abundance of housing opportunities, then one of the options needs to be Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), sometimes called granny flats or backyard cottages. I see this housing type as one that brings many benefits to our entire community at the expense of a few inconveniences. To be a city that truly welcomes all, we need to be willing to share our space and resources to make way for others.
ADUs can be used to house our neighbors who are being displaced by growth. ADUs can house our adult children as they come back home to start careers and families. They can house our aging parents. They can even be used for individuals to earn additional income.
Raleigh's demand for housing is sky-high. The only thing that will help temper it is to create more supply. Instead of relying on the market alone, we should be making it easier to build diverse housing types that meet the needs of more people.
Today, our Growth & Natural Resources Committee will be discussing this topic. As I've read in the article below, they will likely be proposing an overlay district. I feel this restriction will result in a process that is onerous for people who are ready and willing to build ADUs now. I also feel that an overlay will further delay the creation of any ADUs for years to come given how long the process is to approve an overlay.
While ADUs are not by themselves going to solve our affordability problem, they are one of the tools we can quickly and easily use.
If you'd like to weigh in on this issue, you can contact your Council Members here.