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If you own a single-family home, and you don’t want to move, an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) may help you keep your independence. An ADU (sometimes called an in-law apartment, an accessory apartment, or a second unit) is a second living space within your home or on your lot. It has a separate living and sleeping area, a place to cook, and a bathroom. Spaces such as an upstairs, basement, attic, or area over the garage can be turned into ADUs.
Creating an ADU at your home may bring you additional income, companionship, and help with house and yard maintenance. Having someone there to help with your personal needs, or getting your mail, or joining you for dinner can help you maintain your independence.
Family members might be interested in living in an ADU in your home, or you may want to build a separate living space at your family member’s home. Only you and your family can decide what choice is best for you. Either choice can help you maintain your independence.
If you decide to create an ADU at your home, check with your local zoning office to be sure ADUs are allowed in your area. Most communities have rules regarding ADUs.
The cost for an ADU can vary widely depending on how big it is, and how much it costs for building materials and workers. Some people do part of the construction work themselves to lower the cost.
To get more information about supportive housing and home modification, look at the National Resource Center on Supportive Housing and Home Modification website.
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