Recognizing a deficiency of affordable housing, The City of Santa Cruz, California has begun a program based on the reuse of the once vital “granny flat,” or ADU (accessory dwelling unit.) The program embraces the detached garage apartment by relaxing zoning restrictions to exploit existing buildable space, providing additional rental housing for Santa Cruz’s continuously growing population. The reuse of this land allows the city to increase density without faulting neighborhood character. Going several steps further, the city has put together a “how-to” manual including seven prototype designs, while offering low-interest loans for the program participants to make the units more affordable.
Although lot owners are still somewhat skeptical, the AIA honored the project with an urban planning award; in the meantime, an outreach program has helped ease some of the “NIMBY” perceptions- although the genius of the program, quite literally, is to utilize one’s own backyard.
via: BLDGBLOG (Thanks Geoff!)