Additional Dwelling Unit Pilot
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.
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.
We want to see if these units will increase affordable housing options in the City. We hope to create safe living environments and support family arrangements. We also hope this will help aging homeowners remain in their homes. Based on the results of the pilot, we’ll find out the impact these units have on affordability and displacement. We’ll also get a better idea of the impact of expanding the program.
We crafted the zoning language for the pilot with the help of the Boston Planning & Development Agency. The agency's board approved the language, and the Mayor signed off on the language in November 2017. An Additional Dwelling Unit Pilot, as defined for this pilot is:
One self-contained, non-transient residential living unit providing complete independent living facilities incorporated entirely within the footprint of the existing, owner occupied residential structure.
As part of this program, we are developing an 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. We plan to release the toolkit in January 2018.Additional Dwelling Unit Loan program
We also plan to offer limited financial support to homeowners looking to build an Additional Dwelling Unit. A zero-interest, deferred equity loan up to $30,000 will be available for eligible homeowners through the Boston Home Center.