Myth-Busting: What Makes You Think Tiny Homes Will Be Affordable?

Homes in Salmon Creek, California
SalmonCreekCA3197 photo by Stepheng3 is licensed under the public domain
Homeowners throughout California (including Salmon Creek, pictured here), can add an accessory dwelling unit on their lot. The affordability of the new units is another story.

North America is a land of large housing lots. Not surprising therefore that their potential for doubling density causes affordable housing activists to pump their fists in the air for granny-flat power.

More and more administrations are allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs, as well as dozens of other local names) to be built on lots to co-exist with a principal residence.

It says something (not particularly complementary, though) that ADUs in California have recently created more new affordable housing than any other sector of the building industry.

There is, however, an assumption that because ADUs have practical size limitations (due to sharing space at the bottom of the garden with the rhubarb) that they will inevitably be tiny.

And tiny housing means . . . affordable housing!

Doesn’t it?


A former California mayor is happy to share with you his stark assessment of the future of ADUs, based on the fact that nobody anywhere would seem to be interested in restricting their rental to the market rate.

Who will benefit from ADUs? Housing-burdened low income renters?

According to Larry Barnett, not likely. Read his extensive evaluation of the future of ADUs while making no secret of the greatest beneficiaries. He’s fingered them in the headline of an article in the Sonoma Valley Sun:  Accessory Dwelling Units, aka: ADUs, A Building Industry Dream Come True