ADU Basics

ADUs can be freestanding residences on the same lot as a single-family home, or ADUs can be developed within existing buildings, such as in the case of a basement, a bonus room or the space above a garage. Making ADUs easier for homeowners to build could yield up to 1,000 new units in just a few years, when larger housing developments take 5, 10, or even 15 years to permit and build.

However, for years many towns on Cape Cod prohibited building ADUs. Governor Baker’s Housing Choice legislation made it easier for towns to pass updated bylaws to allow ADUs, and most towns have done so. The towns of Falmouth and Brewster have had promising success with early efforts to promote ADU construction after the new bylaws passed, with new permits approved for 21 and 26 ADUs respectively. That’s a significant number of new units added to town inventory quickly and at no cost to taxpayers.

ADU Basement Apartment

ADUs can take many forms depending on the property: detached, attached addition, or part of the existing house.

ADU Basics

We Need a Program to Unlock Potential ADU Creation Across the Region.

Many homeowners are not aware of the new bylaws and can be daunted by the financing, permitting, construction and lease-up process. Housing Assistance’s My Home Plus One ADU program will turn our region’s abundance of single-family homes into an asset fueling the quick creation of market-rate year-round rentals.

We are facing a housing shortage across the nation, but in our region, it is even more acute due to the seasonal nature of our economy, high short-term rental demand, and competition from wealthy second homeowners, which has caused housing prices to skyrocket while available housing inventory plummets. It’s not sustainable, even in the short-term.

Creating more year-round ADUs can unlock new housing potential in our single-family home inventory and turn the tide for our year-rounders.

By creating Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), small apartments within existing single-family homes, we can add critically needed, year-round rental units without chewing up open space.

At the same time, rent from an ADU provides a new revenue source for homeowners.