This year the City of Chattanooga finally opened its arms and embraced Accessory Dwelling Units. The City passed the ordinance in June and since then, any residential single-family homeowner can build an ADU. This is a great decision for the city because ADUs have proven beneficial for many other US communities in the past.
If you are interested to learn how and why, read our explanation of the all the benefits ADUs will bring to the Chattanooga community.
What Is an ADU?
The exact definition of an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) varies from state to state. But in its essence, an ADU is an additional living space built on land which is already occupied by a residential home.
An ADU can be built right next to the house, functioning as a home extension. However, it can also be a separate detached structure. Most cities allow one ADU per household and are limited in size.
For instance, in Chattanooga, you can build an ADU only on a single-family home property and with a maximum size of 700 sqft. In some cases, rooftop and basement conversions will also be considered as ADUs.
History of ADUs In Chattanooga
If we look at history, we’ll come to learn that ADUs have existed in Chattanooga since the beginning of the 20th century. However, they were banned in 1961 when new zoning regulations were introduced.
It was only in 2016 when ADUs got a greenlight again, but this was limited to the downtown area, adopted by City Council. However, in 2022 the City allowed people to build ADUs all over Chattanooga, even in historic districts like Fort Wood and Battery Place. It’s a definitely a change for the better!
Why Did They Pass the Ordinance?
Recently, more and more cities are giving the greenlight to ADUs. Most of them are hoping to solve their housing crises and create an easier life for their residents. The City of Chattanooga is no exception.
Their primary drive was to solve the city’s housing unit deficit which was estimated to be 5,000. They knew that the legalization of ADUs will encourage homeowners to build more and increase number of rentable properties.
After all, which homeowner wouldn’t want an opportunity to increase value, provide an additional space for family members, or earn rental income?
The Positive Outcomes
The main benefit of ADUs is that they help a broad range of people. This includes homeowners, renters, and realtors. For starters, an ADU can help homeowners increase their home’s value and appeal. They are also a great solution for a new family that plans to expand.
Plus, homeowners can lend their ADU to family members like young adults and seniors. This will allow young residents to start adulthood on firmer ground and seniors to age-in-place.
In addition, people can rent their ADUs and earn extra monthly income. This, in turn, will increase the number of properties available for renting and help ease a major community problem like a housing deficit crisis.
Some cities even offer incentives or cover a portion of the rent. For instance, Los Angeles covers part of the cost for all senior citizens who are tenants in an ADU.