GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — A possible solution to affordable housing that can be found in your own backyard is currently in the N.C. legislature for consideration into law.
House Bill 409: Regulation of Accessory Dwelling Units, recently passed in the state house, 106-7, receiving support from both sides of the aisle. District 8 Democrat Representative Gloristine Brown is a primary sponsor of the bill. She said the bill lets people build ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, which could be part of the solution to the housing crisis in the state.
“It more or less just gives people the permission that a lot of folks say they do not have within the municipality or wherever they live to be able to put those ADUs. It gives them permission to be able to do that, but they still will have to follow the guidelines from the municipalities,” Brown said.
What is an ADU though?
“Granny flats, mother-in-law suites, these are just smaller dwellings that usually go in the back yards of homes, one or two bedrooms, much smaller than the primary dwelling,” said The John Locke Foundation Director of Government Affairs, Jordan Roberts.
The North Carolina Builders Association said the bill helps to increase property rights.
“A lot of local governments have very restrictive rules on what can be built, and they make it very difficult to build these type units within their jurisdictions,” said NC Home Builders Association Director of Legislative Affairs Steven Webb. “This is why you see a lot of legislation like this, to ensure people maintain some property rights, and the neighborhood groups aren’t given too much power over what can be built on your own property.”
Those supporting the bill said it will mainly help two groups, one being young professionals.
“We have some parents that are saying some of their children are having to move back home, they just cannot afford these apartments and some just can’t find homes, you know? It’s just hard to find a house,” Brown said.
The other issue is finding affordable housing for senior citizens.
“I think the biggest one is going to be seniors and families that want to stay together,” Roberts said.