People support higher housing density in theory, but not in NYC suburbs

A majority of U.S. homeowners and renters support the presence of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, in residential neighborhoods, according to new research from Zillow, but a recent outcry over legislation that would have eased restrictions on units shows that his popularity might not be as solid as it appears.

Zillow researchers found that 77% of US landlords and renters favor allowing ADUs or duplexes and triplexes in residential neighborhoods. The percentage of tenants in favor – 84% – exceeded the share of landlords, 73% of whom expressed approval. The research was conducted through surveys in 26 metropolitan areas covered by Zillow.

A higher number reacted more favorably towards ADUs compared to duplex and triplex developments. Sixty-nine percent of respondents were in favor of residential ADUs, compared to 61% who said they would allow duplexes and triplexes. The gap between ADU approval versus duplexes and triplexes among homeowners was 66% to 55%. Tenant support was slightly more evenly split, with 76% in favor of ADUs and 72% for duplexes and triplexes.

Many see the addition of more ADUs, duplexes and triplexes in residential neighborhoods as a possible antidote to alleviate the housing supply and affordability issues that have sidelined many potential buyers over the past few years. last two years.

“We are facing a housing crisis that has affected most communities across the country, putting housing affordability at the center of the conversation for many,” Manny Garcia, population specialist at Zillow, said in a statement. Press release.

“Modest densification measures, such as adding a small apartment in a backyard or converting existing homes to duplexes, could create millions of new homes,” Garcia added.

Support for ADUs or duplexes and triplexes declined with age among respondents to the Zillow survey. Generation Z and millennium both respondents expressed the greatest support, with 86% saying they would allow them in residential areas. The share declined to 78% among Gen Xers and 64% for baby boomers and members of the silent generation.

Despite the indication of widespread support for these homes in the Zillow survey, a recent proposal from New York that would have boosted the growth of their supply shows large pockets of resistance against them. A plan presented by New York Governor Kathy Hochul in January, required municipalities to allow an ADU on every owner-occupied residential lot. The legislation would also have included funding to jurisdictions and nonprofit organizations that would allow for the creation and legalization of new ADUs. Hochul’s plan has received support from housing advocates, builders and the New York Chapter of AARP.

But a swift bipartisan outcry in the state, led by suburban officials, prompted Hochul to reject the proposal in February and remove it from the state budget. Hochul said she would instead try to work out funding solutions individually with local jurisdictions interested in building more ADUs.

The defeat of Hochul’s plan, however, went against recent statewide legislation elsewhere in the country that would facilitate the development of the ADU. Last summer, Connecticut passed a bill easing ADU restrictions, and earlier this month, a California state Senate committee approved a bill that could be seen as encouraging the construction of ‘units. Among the provisions of California invoice are increases in permitted height under certain circumstances and the removal of owner occupancy restrictions.


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