Starting in August 2019, our very own Allyson Case Anderson has been working on an Urban Land Institute task force in collaboration with the city of Chicago, including the departments of Housing, Buildings, and Planning and Development which engaged nearly 100 community, industry, and public-sector stakeholders to develop a successful ADU policy for the city that could be replicated in communities across the region. Their work prompted a set of zoning reform proposals which were approved by the Chicago City Council in December. The approved proposals were part of a package that had been under consideration by the city’s Joint Committee on Housing and Zoning to allow construction and rehabilitation of ADUs throughout the city.
ADUs are smaller, independent dwelling units with a full kitchen and bathroom, and can be attached or detached from a primary residential building. The units, sometimes referred to as “granny flats,” “mother-in-law units,” or “coach houses,” are emerging as a much-needed housing option in cities across the United States. They can be created as part of new construction or existing residential buildings by repurposing basement and attic spaces, or by building an extension or a separate unit.