To help her neighbors who wanted to know more about what accessory dwellings could do for them, Joanne Sullivan, a founding member of the Ashby Village, organized a workshop. The event drew over 100 members of the Ashby Village, all interested in finding a way to remodel or add on to their homes to create affordable apartments or cottages that they can share with family, friends, or tenants.
One member is looking to downsize to a backyard cottage so her children can afford to move back to Berkeley from out of state. There’s no way her children can afford to live here without pooling their resources with their parents.
Another member of the audience works for the UC Berkeley retirement association, a group that organizes 10,000+ UC retirees. This Ashby Village member realizes there are many different ways that accessory dwellings can help retirees by providing additional income and ways to live independently.
This is what a grassroots movement looks like. We suspect this is also what the future of housing looks like. These are the people who will define the future.
People in the audience asked the following questions:
1. How does an accessory dwelling or ADU affect your property taxes?
2. How fast can you build a detached accessory dwelling?
4. What is the average cost of building a house in Berkeley?
5. Who are you guys, and what is this all about?
6. I have a two-bedroom house. Is it better to raise the house or add an accessory dwelling? What is the cost? Am I allowed to have ADU?
Answer: In general, a detached accessory dwelling is the best option. It’s more private, more flexible, you can collect better rents, and you feel like you have your own home when living there.
Costs vary, and we can share completed project costs. The cost difference between raising the house and adding an accessory dwelling can be determined with a site visit. (Browse our project reports for some examples or sign up to use our free planning tools.)
Yes, you are most likely allowed to have an accessory dwelling. The State of California gave you the right to build one!
We were so inspired to see so many home owners exploring the possibilities. ADUs can provide rental income, a place for loved ones to live, additional office space, and so much more. Special thanks to Joanne Sullivan and the Ashby Village members for this informative event.
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