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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Accessory Dwelling Units : Popular in Portland

Have a look around in magazines (like Dwell) and trendy image collection sites (like Pinterest) and you'll find that Tiny Houses are in style. Downsizing takes on a whole depth of meaning when pre-retirees and twenty/thirty somethings take on the challenge of living in a 150- to 600- square foot home. 

Known as ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) or Granny Flats or Mother-in-Law apartments, these alternative dwellings have also become a desirable addition to the flip of a regular house within Portland metro neighborhoods. Having a an extra dwelling built into the attic or basement of a home makes it attractive for those still living with adult children, or those looking forward to caring for aging parents.

"Regardless of their size, ADUs are generally more environmentally friendly than a new home built in a traditional subdivision. They require no new land, less building materials and energy usage. They help Portland and the metro area meet population growth needs without developing farm land. Putting those residents in existing neighborhoods reduces sprawl and vehicle miles traveled, easing road congestion."

Here the Portland Tribune's Steve Law describes how a fee waiver for ADU construction (set to potentially expire next summer) has encouraged building of these small homes.

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