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Accessory Dwelling Units: Model State Act and Local Ordinance

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Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are independent housing units created within single-family homes or on their lots. These units can be a valuable addition to a community's housing stock. ADUs have the potential to assist older homeowners in maintaining their independence by providing additional income to offset property taxes and the costs of home maintenance and repair. Zoning ordinances that prohibit ADUs or make it extremely difficult for homeowners to create them are the principle obstacle to the wide availability of this housing option. The model state act and local ordinance are intended to assist AARP volunteer leaders and other interested citizens, planners, and government officials in evaluating potential changes to state laws and local zoning ordinances to encourage the wider availability of ADUs. This legislation has been drafted to meet the needs of a wide variety of communities. Optional provisions, including those attractive even to very cautious communities, are incorporated in the model local zoning ordinance to provide as many choices as possible for jurisdictions to consider. (58 pages)

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