Sunday, August 2, 2020

ADU’s are Leading the Way for Suburban Affordable Housing

Located just west of Newark, NJ, the Maplewood Township Committee recently voted to allow ADU’s onto land occupied by single family residences.

This may be a great way for Granny to live near her children, a grown child to live for a few years or even to have as a rental property.

The parameters set forth by the Maplewood Township say an ADU include that the property owner must live in the primary or the accessory dwelling unit; at least one person in either the primary dwelling or the ADU must be 62 or older; and the ADU shall not be greater than 30 percent of the floor area of the primary dwelling. For example, a 2,400 square foot home could have a 792 square foot ADU on its property.

The average population density of the U.S. is 87 people per square mile. The average population density of metropolitan areas (MSA) is 283 people per square mile; in New York City, the population density is 27,012 people per square mile.

The Township’s density is 6,700 people per square mile. 

ADU’s are the most practical way to increase affordable housing in densely populated areas with high rental costs and they will definitely be on Planning and Zoning agendas everywhere very soon.

This is a great opportunity for the Modular Housing Industry to build, deliver, and finish the home, something that some are already doing.

If the ADU’s don’t have to meet the Maplewood Township’s current building codes, does this open the door for Shipping Container homes, HUD manufactured homes and Tiny Houses on foundations?

These questions still need answered before communities across the country begin really opening up their cities and towns to ADU’s.

Gary Fleisher is a housing veteran, editor/writer of the, blogs and the ‘coming soon’, Construction Consultant’s Directory. 

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