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Affordable Housing, Multi Family Homes, & ADUs

Housing Affordability/Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing has been a buzz word for Raleigh politicians forever it seems. Demand for regular hosuing has been kept high, driving up prices of homes, but why do we still keep having a supply problem? The answer is simple, Single Family Homes (SFH) and Apartments are all that is being built here. This is mainly attributed to NIMBYism, the "Council of No", and the UDO. Multi Family Housing (MFH) has been restricted in Raleigh causing us to spread out over a large area. Instead of building MFHs like duplexes/triplexes/cottage courts/slim or micro homes/module(connex)/tiny apartments, we have SFHs taking up large areas which limit our ability to keep up with demand. Let us expand our building options, remove the height restrictions from the UDO, create denser housing along with ADUs, and a rollback of property taxes once we pay off previous debts.

What happens when demand exceeds supply? The cost of housing skyrockets like it has in Raleigh, and we are faced with a housing crisis. According to Oak City CRE ("Economics of Delivering New Housing", 2018), "One of Evergreen's subsidized projects currently under construction (42 units) has received 200 inquiries without putting up a single sign or spending a single marketing dollar." That is a shrill cry for demand of more housing! There are high 6 figure dollar homes that are being built in denser fashion, but only the rich can buy them. Where is the affordable option for everyone else? The answer is, it's not happening and won't happen while the "Council of No" is in charge. The cure for the affordable housing crisis is so close and attainable, we could see change quickly if we allow this change. Housing is still being built as we speak, but we have the option to start allowing affordable multi family housing and other construction options.

Here we have an image of Wake County from Oak City CRE (Oak City CRE, "Raleigh/Mumbai Population Comparison", 2018) about density comparison. Raleigh will not look like this in our lifetime or the next, but the comparison should be shown. We see that we could fit all of Raleigh's population into that small blue square at Mumbai's density. Our entire population could fit in there. How does this relate to us? It shows that we are taking up a lot of space for so few people and that our density needs to increase throughout the city, not to the extent of Mumbai, but if we could double our density starting now - we could solve the affordable housing issue.

My plan is to allow all types of housing, remove height/density restrictions from the UDO, and allow ADUs. If we allow other housing construction options, supply will finally catch up to demand or at least make it manageable. We can drive down the cost of living and make Raleigh for everyone. We can also start allowing Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) or "granny flats" which will allow us to help use up unused space on SFH lots.This creates "soft density" and generates more revenue for the city.

ADU Plan

I want anyone who has the space and the resources, to be able to build an ADU in their backyard. I also think that the local government should stop standing in the way of that as well. However, we do need to have standards in place so we do not have a tawdry and unsafe structure for people to live in. Therefore, I have put together a list that can be amended in the future that each ADU must have:

  • Full plumbing. To include running water, a shower, toilet, and sinks. Plumbing must be connected into the sewer system or waste disposal system that the primary housing structure belongs to.
  • HVAC. Heating and air conditioning must be present, connected, and functional at all times for the use of the occupant(s) at the ADU.
  • Electrical. Lighting must be present in all sections of the ADU including electrical outlets.
  • Max occupancy of 2.
  • Must contain smoke detectors, CO (carbon monoxide) detectors, and a minimum of 2 fire extinguishers per 800 sq ft. All items here must be checked quarterly.
  • Must be built in the same lot as a primary residence (House). It may not be the sole structure, nor can multiple ADUs be built on a single lot without a house present.
  • Structure must be insulated for energy efficiency.
  • The ADU must not create a hazard for the used lot (includes: primary dwelling unit and living elements), neighboring lots (includes dwelling unit and living elements), or the local environment. Should a hazard/damage be found or created by the ADU, its construction, or occupant(s), the primary dwelling unit owner shall be responsible for all costs incurred.
  • All available attempts to make parking on site must be made in order to not use up street parking space.
  • ADUs must be built behind the primary dwelling unit and may not be structurally connected. The sole exceptions being: a lot does not extend behind the PDU, but extends along the street side; A garage or secondary structure is already in place that is being converted to an ADU; pre-existing ADUs constructed before enactment of this plan.
  • All new ADU prospects will apply for a permit to construct an ADU, all current ADUs will submit an attestation to the city that their ADU meets this plan. The permit will not go before council, but will be given from the Housing & Neighborhoods Department with a fee of $50.

Let's finally make Raleigh for all, put your vote to ending the Affordable Housing Crisis once and for all, and vote for Bledsoe in 2019.

 

Citation

Economics of Delivering New Housing [Twitter]. (2018, November
8). Retrieved from https://twitter.com/oakcitycre/status/1060611654680039424?s=19

Oak City CRE. (2018, November 6). Raleigh/Mumbai Population Comparison
[Showing the density of Mumbai compaired to Raleigh]. Retrieved from
https://twitter.com/oakcitycre/status/105981491928274944?s=19


Committee to Elect James Bledsoe
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