Responding to Changing Households: Regulatory Challenges for Micro Units & Accessory Dwelling Units

Created by the NYU Furman Center

In response to a lack of affordable housing suited to the needs of changing households, a number of jurisdictions have revised their regulations to permit the development of more compact rental housing units, including both accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and micro units. 

Download the NYU Furman Center study on micro units and ADUs.

This whitepaper provides a detailed analysis of the regulatory and other challenges to developing both ADUs and micro units, focusing on five cities: New York, Washington, D.C., Austin, Denver and Seattle.The analysis will be helpful not only to those specific jurisdictions, but also can serve as a model for those who want to catalogue regulations that might get in the way of the development of compact units in their own jurisdictions.

In addition, as more local governments permit or encourage compact units, researchers will need to evaluate how well the units serve the goals proponents claim they will achieve. This paper identifies the questions that researchers should address in such assessments.