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A bird's-eye view of a neighborhood in Jersey City, illustrating the potential locations for future ADUs

Embracing ‘Cottage’ Industry: Jersey City’s New Solution to Housing Crisis

Hi there! Have you ever felt the pinch of having limited room for an aging relative or fresh-out-of-college child? Jersey City is nodding along with you and stepping forward with a creative solution. The city proposes to permit homeowners to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to their property, helping solve the city’s housing shortage and offering homeowners an opportunity to earn some extra income.

What’s the Plan?

Jersey City’s planning board is set to review proposed zoning amendments, forming part of the city’s master plan, which could drastically alter land use in the city. According to the proposed changes:

  • Residential districts, namely RH1, R1, and R2, would be allowed to introduce ADUs.
  • These units could be added regardless of the lot size, in addition to the principal structure.

Wondering what an ADU is? It’s also known as a “granny flat,” a smaller living space located on the same lot as a primary home, often converted from a detached garage into a cozy studio or one-bedroom apartment complete with a kitchen and bathroom.

Advantages of ADUs

ADUs are not only a fantastic source of affordable housing for tenants, but they also offer benefits to property owners. Marcel Negret, Senior Planner at Regional Plan Associates (RPA), emphasizes that ADUs are affordable to build since they share systems like sewage with the main home. This could provide an extra source of income, especially for older homeowners on fixed incomes. “Having the option to retrofit or redesign their house or property gives them that extra source of income and allows them to remain in place,” says Negret.

Jersey City and ADUs

The introduction of ADUs is particularly relevant in Jersey City. The city’s average home costs $650,000, and rents are among the highest nationwide, hitting $5,500 a month in 2022, a 66% increase from $3,300 in 2021 according to Rent.com. In this context, ADUs offer a promising solution to the city’s housing woes.

However, like any urban development plan, there are legitimate concerns about the impact on infrastructure, congestion, schools, and parking. Negret, however, believes that these concerns are often exaggerated when it comes to ADUs.

Interested in how these changes could affect your property’s value or usability? Use our free property report at The ADU Guide to get a quick, clear understanding.

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People also ask:

  1. What is an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)? An ADU, also known as a granny flat, is a smaller living space located on the same property as a primary home. It can be either attached or detached to the main house.
  2. Are ADUs affordable to build? Yes, ADUs are relatively affordable to build since they often share utilities and infrastructure with the primary home.
  3. Can ADUs help solve housing shortages? Absolutely. ADUs provide additional affordable housing options and can be particularly beneficial in densely populated residential neighborhoods.
  4. Are there any downsides to ADUs? Like any development, ADUs do raise considerations about their impact on infrastructure, congestion, schools, and parking. However, these concerns are often exaggerated and can be managed with proper planning and regulation.

We hope this post gives you some clarity on the exciting changes proposed in Jersey City. For further details, check out the source article here by Joshua Rosario. Happy dwelling!


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