An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) can take many shapes and can be called different names, from garage apartment to granny flat, mother-in-law suite, carriage house and more.
ADUs are a traditional part of the housing stock in older neighborhoods all across the country, including in Pensacola’s East Hill and North Hill. In addition to providing housing diversity, ADUs bring the increased neighborhood population needed to support local businesses.
They can also be rented to provide a source of additional income for residents as the cost of urban housing increases, and provide an aging-in-place option for senior residents.
"Providing for diversity in housing in our city is a very good, healthy thing. People exist in all different types of situations in their lives, and not everyone needs a large home. There are lots of single people of all ages or couples who don't need a lot of space."
- Christian Wagley
THE BASICS OF ADUS
WHAT IS AN ADU?
ADU stands for Accessory Dwelling Unit. It is a small, detached living structure located behind the primary residence on a lot. ADUs include their own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom facilities. They are intended to be “accessory” to the primary dwelling.
WHY ARE ADUS IMPORTANT?
In Pensacola and countless other cities around the country, demand for housing is beginning to, if not already, outpacing the supply - especially for affordable housing. ADUs can boost housing supply without adversely affecting the scale and character of a neighborhood. An ADU’s compact size, minimal utility footprint, and minor maintenance requirements make them inherently affordable to build and operate. They therefore offer the possibility for use as an affordable housing option for those making 80% or less of the Area Median Income (AMI).
WHAT CAN AN ADU DO FOR YOU?
There are a number of possible benefits to owning an ADU, including added value to your property, creation of or increased rental income, expansion of living space, and the addition of a separate but nearby housing option for aging parents. In addition to those gains, there are other tangential benefits, such as increased affordable housing options and added income to support local businesses.
WHY ARE PEOPLE SO EXCITED ABOUT ADUS?
The broad benefits of ADUs for both individuals and the community are inspirational. ADUs and Tiny Houses are often grouped together in conversation. The Tiny House movement champions a simple living philosophy with a foundation in increased personal free time. This is a great philosophy, but the potential benefits go far beyond the self. These simple living ADU structures can contribute to resolving very complex issues facing cities today - housing shortages, affordability and changing workforce structures.