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Small Smart Infill: Secondary Dwellings

Posted in Movements by Kate Archdeacon on September 13th, 2011

Via Sustainable Cities Collective

Photo by Pembleton via flickr CC

From “How garage & basement apartments help people, neighborhoods and the environment” by Kaid Benfield:

One of the best ways to accommodate growth (as we must) without either exacerbating sprawl or disturbing the character of existing communities is by using so-called “accessory units” – secondary dwellings attached to a main home, such as garage and basement apartments. Sometimes these are called “granny flats” or “in-law suites” because of their usefulness to house extended family members while giving them the privacy that comes with having their own, separate entarnces and homes. For the primary homeowner, it can also be an excellent source of income to help pay for the mortgage or other needs. For the neighborhood, it brings in a mixture of housing types and price points, adding variety and affordability while preserving architectural character. It also helps people “age in place” as their housing needs shrink without having to leave their neighborhoods. Municipal planners are taking note: Vancouver, for example, promotes “laneway housing” facing alleys as part of its “EcoDensity” program; Seattle encourages “backyard cottages.”


Read the full article by Kaid Benfield for more on this, a related article in USA Today, and info about a new book called In-Laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats.

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