Opening the Playbook: ADU/Middle Housing Reform Strategies in the U.S. and Canada

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In July 2023, the Casita Coalition convened a dialogue featuring prominent figures in the field of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) from various regions, including Portland, OR, Vancouver BC, California, Seattle WA, and Montana.

These leaders, pioneers, and innovators shared their insights on the strategies they employed to successfully implement significant ADU and middle housing reforms. In addition, perspectives from advocates in Texas and New York about their ongoing initiatives were shared. Small Housing was represented by Co-Founder Jake Fry, who presented

Key insights:

What are some of the key steps Government can take to support the delivery of ADUs?

  • Build a broad coalition across political and other divides.
  • Talk to other ADU/middle housing reform advocates from cities/states that have been successful to speed learning and avoid pitfalls.
  • Tailor the messaging based on local values–and always center the human stories.
  • Raise awareness and gather supporters by offering tours and showing photos of appealing ADUs, ‘plexes, cottage courts and the happy people who live in them.
  • Passing statewide laws is essential, but prepare for the next barriers after zoning restrictions are removed.