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Last updated: 9/28/17

Additional Dwelling Unit Pilot

We want to streamline the process for homeowners looking to create a rental unit.

The goal of the program is to develop more affordable housing while creating rental income for homeowners. We want homeowners to take advantage of the existing space in their homes. We also are looking to prevent further displacement in the City.

BOSTON, MA 02108-2501

Why we did this

Two top priorities for Mayor Walsh and the City of Boston include:

  • lowering the cost of living in Boston, and
  • preventing displacement.

We think we can address both priorities through our pilot. Owner occupants can carve out space in their home to create a smaller rental unit. Those looking for an apartment gain more options. Homeowners stretched thin by the cost of living in Boston gain income.

The experiment

Our hypothesis? We plan to allow homeowners in three neighborhoods across the City to build their own dwelling units. Based on the results of the program, we’ll find out the impact these units have on affordability and displacement in those neighborhoods. We’ll also get a better idea of the potential impact of expanding the program.

Working out the kinks

We’re in the process of crafting the legal language for this pilot. We want to keep our housing generation, affordability, and displacement prevention goals a main focus.

Keep in touch and the new language will be available soon!

Additional Dwelling Unit Toolkit

As part of this program, we plan to create a supporting Additional Dwelling Unit Toolkit. It will be a guide for interested homeowners who would like to build their own additional unit. We’ll walk homeowners through the permitting, design, financing, and construction processes. We want to make sure all interested and eligible homeowners can take advantage of this pilot.

Results and lessons learned

Stay tuned! We’re sure there will be plenty that comes out of this experiment.