What are ‘granny flats’ – are they next bargain homes?

What are ‘granny flats’ – are they next bargain homes?


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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – South Florida’s affordable-housing crisis could be alleviated by legislation that the state approved 15 years ago, encouraging cities to allow single-family homeowners to build a second dwelling on their properties that can be rented out to very low- to moderate-income wage earners.

Recent studies demonstrate that South Florida has the nation’s highest percentage of severely burdened renters, with more than a third paying more than half their income on housing.  Broward County is now considering the little used legislation, actively discussing “accessory dwelling units.” If Broward commissioners approve a proposed land-use change supporting the secondary units, it still would be up to individual cities to decide whether they want to open their neighborhoods to an influx of new dwelling units and the people who would live in them.

“To solve the affordable-housing crisis, we’re going to have to use multiple options,” said Commissioner Nan Rich. She said the units not only provide affordable housing for the renters but also can create income that makes homeownership more affordable for the property owner.

Under the state statute and county proposal, the dwelling can be free-standing, an addition attached to the primary home, or the conversion of a garage or other living space into a second unit with its own entrance.

Homeowners, however, would have to commit to renting it to a person or family making no more than 80 percent of the county’s median household income – currently no more than $51,750 for a two-person household. The rent for a two-person household would have to be less than $1,300 a month. The unit also would need to have a kitchen, a bathroom, and a separate entrance.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel (02/22/19) Barszewski, Larry

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