Industry News

Shack in back

Slideshow of small housing units

The city of Santa Cruz, Calif., in an effort to promote infill development and accommodate population growth without sprawl, has a plan to promote small housing units, or alternative dwelling units (ADUs), on lots with existing homes. ADUs, or alternative dwelling units, "provide an excellent opportunity to increase the amount of affordable rental housing in the community while providing homeowners with a chance to supplement mortgage payments, thus making their own housing more affordable," according to a city description of the program. Santa Cruz is one of the least affordable communities for residents to own homes. View slideshow of the ADU prototypes. ADUs are sometimes referred to as "granny units," "garage conversions," "garage apartments," or "mother-in-law" units. ADUs can be built in garages, above garages, in basements, or as a new, standalone unit that is either attached or detached from the main home. Alleys are popular sites for ADUs. The city's ADU ordinance provides th...