Backyard Homes Meet Resistance From Neighbors, Local Governments

Standalone dwellings that share lots with larger main houses could offer affordable living options and help alleviate housing shortages in major cities.

August 8, 2016

The Baby Boomer population is growing, and older Americans are looking to downsize. Meanwhile, housing in many major metros is far from affordable, with even the most modest options commanding thousands of dollars in rent each month.

Some homeowners have found a way to help their aging moms and dads. Accessory homes, also known as second homes, backyard cottages, and “Granny Flats,” offer a small family a few bedrooms and 1,200-square feet of space, all located on an existing lot.

Cities and neighbors have opposed these homes, however, and have made building them extremely difficult, if not illegal.

The Washington Post focused on Los Angeles, and how a pair of seniors are meeting roadblocks while living in a one-story home in their daughter’s backyard. Neighbors feel that the homes can bring unwanted traffic and parking problems, and can ruin the character of a neighborhood.

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