Affordable housing is hot topic in the District – because it is increasingly unaffordable for many people to live here. The Forest Hills neighborhood has unrealized opportunities to increase housing density and affordability through Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs: small apartments inside a home or in a space outside the main house.
Some neighbors already have converted basements, attics, garages and other spaces into rental units. And the updated zoning code makes this easier by allowing such units as “matter of right.” No more time-consuming hearings. Specific information can be found in the Zoning Handbook.
The National Building Museum hosted a talk Monday night on how ADUs can make room for more housing in DC. The moderator was Harriet Tregoning, former head of DC Office of Planning, with featured speakers Cheryl Cort, Policy Director of Coalition for Smarter Growth, architect Jennifer Harty and Aakash Thakkar, an ADU homeowner. If you couldn’t make this, check out this post on ADUs at GreaterGreaterWashington.org.
And on the broader topic of housing affordability in the District, the WAMU’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” discussed the latest research from the D.C. Policy Center Monday (listen here). The study makes the case for more development and density in upper Northwest DC, and says it’s possible to add housing while still preserving neighborhood character. Read WAMU’s report on the study.
Do you have an Accessory Dwelling Unit, or rent one? Tell us about it.