This post is part of the Denver ADU Course. The course explores the ADU building process in Denver.
Three Learning Options:
- Listen to episode “[ADU 8 of 9] Denver ADU Advocacy” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
- Watch the YouTube video at the bottom of the page.
- Read the blog post.
As ADUs become commonplace among homeowners they will be frustrated if they are unable to build one because of a city’s archaic zoning regulations. It is important that current and potential future ADU owners start working together to help make the changes that are needed for further expansion of ADUs. Denver is currently working to help shape the future landscape of the city and its critical that the opportunity for ADUs to be built is part of that plan.
Blueprint Denver is a city initiative to create a more inclusive and equitable housing and transportation landscape for the next 20 years. There are many ideas to help with affordable housing an ADUs need to be included in that plan. They allow more people to live in or near the city where they can have access to public transportation, open spaces, urban design, and job opportunities. Changes of this magnitude take time to implement, the importance of preliminary advocacy is critical to the success of the ADU movement.
ADU4U is helping spearhead the local charge for changes in the regulations that currently prohibit the construction of ADUs. Organizations like this along with individuals and neighborhoods are required to build the support that is needed to make the necessary changes. Advocates need to make their voices heard with their city officials. This can be done by attending city council meetings, writing letters to local representatives, or creating their own advocacy groups to garner attention. City officials are forced to make changes when entire neighborhoods support the push for change. Getting neighbors involved by sharing information and the benefits of ADUs is a fundamental step for change in your neighborhood.
Why We Need ADUs
ADUs can be a great investment for homeowners and their long term wealth but there are many other reasons why we should have more of these being built in our cities. As more people are moving back into cities we are experiencing and a crisis in affordable housing. ADUs can help increase densification without changing the landscape of the neighborhood while providing an affordable housing solution.
Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of houses have the nuclear family living in them yet the majority of land is zoned exclusively for single family homes. As more households are becoming multi-generational the need for flexible housing options if quickly becoming an issue. With the ability to build more small multi-family and single family homes with ADUs, more people will have the ability to purchase a home by having an additional income stream to offset some of their mortgage. These types of changes are critical for cities that experiencing high levels of growth and severe housing shortages, much like the city of Denver.