Accessory Dwelling Units Find Public Support in Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma, Washington, a city of over 200,000 residents in the Pacific Northwest, is making room for more.
March 6, 2019, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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The city of Tacoma is considering a law that would allow "Detached Accessory Dwelling Units" in single-family neighborhoods throughout the city.

Rubén Casas reports that the law is receiving support from the public, as shown at a recent public hearing on the proposed law.

"The idea to allow more greater [sic] numbers of 'Detached Accessory Dwelling Units,' or DADUs, was first taken up by the city in December 2017 as part of the city’s larger Residential Infill Pilot Program. Since then, accessory dwelling units have been permitted as part of a pilot program," according to Casas.

Casas also provides an explanation of accessory dwelling unit as a housing policy tool to address housing affordability concerns—even in suburban communities like Tacoma. Particularly telling about the huge impact incremental changes to zoning codes can potentially achieve, Casas rights about the potential benefits of accessory dwelling units:

More housing options like ADUs can mean the difference between losing one’s home because a homeowner can no longer afford a mortgage and being able to keep their home because they have an additional source of income; a DADU permits senior citizens the opportunity to age in place; a DADU makes it possible for a child to return home after college or after losing a job in an economy where the cost of college doesn’t match the earning power of college graduates; DADUs, as they are rented at a lower price than market-rate apartments, allow working-class and members of the service industry to live near their workplaces.

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Published on Monday, March 4, 2019 in The Urbanist
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