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Houston, TX

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2021

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: The City of Houston allows construction of accessory dwelling units, which consist of a small housing unit built on the property of a preexisting single-family home. The Planning Department hoped to encourage more residents to build ADUs, so it launched an awareness campaign. To educate residents, the City hosted a series of virtual workshops on ADU construction. They also held a design competition, which gave the City content for a how-to design guide, a website and a set of plan documents for an ADU. The City published the plans online so residents can access them for free, allowing them to avoid an estimated 250 in permitting fees. The City is now exploring ways to support low- and moderate-income homeowners who are interested in constructing an ADU, allowing them to rent out the space for extra income.

Nearby AARP Community Challenge Projects

Seaside, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2020

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: United Way of Monterey County constructed two accessory dwelling units in Seaside. Each unit meets standards for visitability and is deed-restricted, which requires the units to be rented out at affordable rates. To reduce costs and cut down on permitting times for residents interested in building their own ADUs, the United Way also created prototype ADU blueprints and made them available on Seaside's website. In addition, they held four workshops to educate the public about the value of infill development for housing affordability. Over 400 people attended and since the workshops the City has received more than 60 applications for ADU permits, with many using the pre-approved ADU plans. Project organizers say the County and nearby Salinas have since made their own ADU plans available to the public.

Santa Cruz, CA

AARP Community Challenge Grant Year: 2017

Project Category: Accessory dwelling units, tiny homes and manufactured housing

Description: An increasing number of older adults are at risk of losing their homes. Common reasons include rising housing costs or homes that are unsuitable for aging in place. According to David Foster, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, 300 families in the high-cost Santa Cruz area are income-burdened. To address this, Habitat for Humanity's My House My Home program builds aging-friendly accessory dwelling units. This project involved building an ADU attachment onto an older couple's home. That allowed the couple to rent out the unit, providing them with rental income that allowed them to remain in their home of 50 years. Grant funding also supported accessibility to the main house, including a new walkway and ramp, as well as low-water landscaping. They have the option to move into the ADU - which also includes accessibility features - if they choose to downsize in the future.


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