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Granny flats will be an answer to providing more reasonably-priced housing – Is this the only answer?

One of the trends in attempts to provide more affordable housing is the growth of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) such as granny flats, garage apartments, or in-law suites. 

Happy Days

These aren’t a new thing – Fonzie occupied an above-garage apartment at the Cunningham home – but they have been somewhat invisible, and often illegal.

The invisibility was often linked to their illegality. Zoning laws passed during the postwar rise of suburbs often limited construction of high-density housing and because so many ADUs were built against city ordinances, without required permits, little research literature was published. Freddie Mac could account for only three or four papers in the 1980s and 1990s and they were mostly small in scale and based on limited data.

Boston Real Estate and the Bottom Line

The data for the new paper was gathered from property descriptions on Multiple Listing Service (MLS) boards. It looks at the growth of these units, the various structural types of ADUs in use (both permitted and illegal), and discusses the measurable benefits of having ADUs in our communities.

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