Accessory Dwellings to the Rescue NYS
Nationwide extreme weather has magnified the severe housing crisis in upstate NY. On 2/17/22 The Washington Post reported that 14.5 million dwelling units sustained property losses in the preceding 12 months. Damages totaled about $57 Million by November 17, 2022. The current US population is 333 M and there is 1 housing unit for every 2.5 people (US Census).
36.25 M people suffered damage to their homes from severe weather in a 1-year period. (36.25 M / 333 M ) or 10% of the US population in a single year!
ADU is an accessory dwelling unit that can be attached or detached. New York State Senate Bill S4547A 2021-2022, which has not yet passed, proposes the legalization of ADUs on properties zoned residential, with the expectation that it will help homeowners earn some income while proving affordable rental housing in a tight market. The American Institute of Architects describes ADUs as attached or detached units situated on a single lot. They may include garage apartments, finished basements, or in-law suites.
In New York State some municipalities provide legal zoning for ADUs! Where can we build an ADU?
In Utica, NY you can build an ADU up to 800 SF.
Syracuse ADU zoning is defined in the document Rezone Syracuse Ordinance December 2019.
Neither Albany, NY nor New York City have approved ADU construction. Overall it appears that little headway in ADU permitting has been achieved in New York State’s urban areas. It seems very sad that zoning is not more flexible, especially as it would help create more affordable housing, provide extra income to homeowners and stretch urban infrastructure. Let’s hope we can change some minds soon.