I recently had the opportunity to sit down with a young, hopeful person who has decided to run for city council. This candidate has focused on issues of inclusion and equity as cornerstone principles. While I fully support these principles in the abstract, I want to know immediately what specific policies would be rolled out to promote these goals. I treasure these opportunities to change minds and dismantle perceptions and expectations. It also gives me a chance to work through theories bouncing around in my head in real time as well.
If you’re wondering what happened to our ADU dreams, you’ll be happy to hear that we have been working diligently over the past few months to make them a reality. First, we are wrapping up construction document sets for our two ADU prototypes and hope to have final pricing on these in the next few weeks. Stay tuned! Second, we have been working with the city to revise the R-5 zoning legislation to allow ADUs as-of-right, in addition to the already allowed Guest Houses (check out the map or the City of Atlanta website to see where R-5 zoning exists). The proposed zoning changes passed ZRB last night and will now move on to the City Council Zoning Committee for review. Read on to find out the specifics of the zoning changes and how you can help make sure they happen! And if you’re still unclear on the benefits of ADUs / why we think this is important legislation, check out our previous post.
One of the things that gets us most excited about ADUs is the financial math. Here’s why. Cities across the nation are struggling to find ways to provide more affordable housing to meet growing demand, both little ‘a’ affordable housing and big ‘A’ Affordable Housing. Little ‘a’ housing is often also called workforce housing. This housing is intended to be accessible to people making up to 80% of the area median income (AMI in housing speak). Housing for police, firefighters, teachers, recent college grads with a lot of student debt. For Atlanta, this translates into monthly rents of $764 for an efficiency, $820 for a one bedroom, and $949 for a two bedroom.
Let’s talk about approximate costs for the ADUs we are designing. While we are still working through costing with our builder, we are expecting that the one bedroom version should cost somewhere between $95,000-$115,000 depending on specific site conditions. The two bedroom is expecting to cost somewhere between $125,000-$145,000. These numbers are the all-in cost. Design, permitting, construction, utility hookups, etc. etc. are included in these numbers.