What are accessory dwelling units (ADUs)?

Who uses ADUs?

What are the benefits of ADUs?

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What are accessory dwelling units (ADUs)?

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU): a secondary residence on a single property. It’s essentially an independent apartment either detached or attached to a single-family house. This also includes attic or basement apartments.

Accessory Dwelling Unit in Cameron Park Historic Neighborhood Raleigh

These dwellings take on many different names:

  • accessory dwelling units or ADUs (the common term used by architects and planners)
  • backyard cottages
  • accessory apartments
  • backyard dwellings
  • secondary dwelling unit
  • granny flats
  • in-law apartments
  • mother-in-law flat
  • backyard apartments
  • garage apartments
  • basement apartments
  • carriage house
  • garden suite
  • laneway house
  • alley apartment
  • multi-generational living
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Who uses ADUs?

Common renters/inhabitants of ADUs:

  • students
  • young professionals
  • newly weds
  • older children/teens
  • grandparents
  • in-laws
  • other family or friends

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What are the benefits of ADUs?

There are many benefits of ADUs associated directly to the owner, the renter, and the greater community.

Benefits to the Owner:

  • creates a sustainable housing life-cycle (see diagram above)
  • provides flexibility in housing options
  • improves social health
  • offers a secondary source of income
Benefits to the Renter:
  • provides affordable housing options
  • increases access to downtown amenities (restaurants, bars, museums, parks)
  • creates opportunities to live close to family, friends, jobs, and universities

Benefits to the Community:

  • promotes diversity in age, class and ethnicity
  • increases density while minimizing sprawl
  • provides more affordable housing options

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What does Raleigh have to do with this…

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