Salt Lake Chamber: ADUs In Your Neighborhood

There is no single solution to the Utah housing crisis. Instead, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute has identified five “best practices” to address the affordability challenge of Utah housing. This article describes how ADUs can exist in our neighborhoods without disrupting the architectural or community character.

Solving the Utah housing crisis requires creativity from homeowners and builders, and additional housing units are a perfect example of a creative solution. These units, better known as ADUs, are smaller apartments on the same lot as any single-family house structure. Whether it’s a free-standing ‘little house’, a conversion on a lower level, or using garage spaces, ADUs serve as an easy way to integrate more affordable living space into existing neighborhoods.

The advantages of additional residential units are obvious. First and foremost, they are relatively simple and inexpensive to build. Since they are located on existing properties, they do not require any new infrastructure investments and can be connected to developed water, sewer and power lines. And because of their small size, they only require a fraction of the materials and labor needed to build a house.

ADUs are also known for being a great way to generate wealth. They offer an attractive alternative from which both tenants and homeowners in almost all types of community benefit. When rented, ADUs can provide homeowners with additional income to maintain their homes, maintain their mortgages, and increase disposable income.

Some community members are suspicious of ADUs and fear that they will disrupt the community character. In reality, the opposite is true. ADUs must continue to comply with zone regulations and existing HOAs. In addition, their construction time is short and limited and is far less disturbing to neighborhoods than large-scale projects. These factors come together to make additional housing units a dispersed and gradual way of adding homes that fit right into the community.

Best of all, ADUs offer an affordable option to live in expensive residential areas. According to a recent survey by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, ADU rents are on average 58% below market value. Their cost-effectiveness allows them to quickly deploy affordable options in the areas where they are most needed.

Auxiliary housing units are an essential tool to bring affordable units to market. As the limited housing supply continues to drive prices and rents soaring, ADUs offer an extremely affordable housing option for newcomers to the market. Find out more about ADUs and whether your property could benefit from adding an ADU here. Together we can increase the Utah housing stock and fill the affordability gap.

As a company, you can play a role. We’ll be sharing videos from trusted community partners that we encourage you to share, along with articles and blog posts that provide vital information about the housing crisis every Utahner is facing right now. Together we will work to bridge the gap and ensure that we – and our children and grandchildren – continue to have access to safe and affordable housing in our great state.

* If you’d like to share your story about how the real estate crisis is affecting your business, please contact Ginger Chinn, Vice President of Public Policy, at [email protected]

This press release was prepared by the Salt Lake Chamber. The views expressed are the author’s own views.

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