DC Embraces Tiny Houses

 Photo Credit: Curbed

Photo Credit: Curbed

Amending DC’s housing code could allow for an increase in the number of smaller residences and thus more taxpayers. Technically known as “accessory dwelling units,” these little homes are suddenly all-the-rage in cities across America as people find themselves unable to take out loans for purchases or not wanting to splurge on a place they do not feel is worth it. Housing affordability is something that needs to be addressed and this could be the solution. Beginning September 6, provisions from the updated zoning code will make it easier to construct and rent these auxiliary houses when before each homeowner had to plead their case in front of a panel in order to be granted an exception to the rule. These changes will apply only to R-1, R-2, and R-3 zones presently and are subject to size and occupancy regulations. The government hopes that backyard homes will broaden the housing options for residents and thus lessen the burden on renters and the high prices that was causing. This will also be a boon to the economy as builders and architects work to install a wave of these mini-homes come fall when the regulations go into effect. These mini-houses are not without their potential controversy, however. Many fear that, while the law was passed successfully, that there will be backlash once the actual construction begins. The diversification that some are championing for this project could bother others in the future, creating tension in a previously calm neighborhood. Perks include an increased alleyway presence which could clean-up the area and increase street interactions as well as the opportunity for green living measures such as rain-collection or solar panels. DC’s intended course-of-action is not as restrictive on these dwelling units as those in parts of nearby Virginia so many of these homes could go up quickly if the public takes a liking to it. If truly successful, this could even go so far as to revolutionize the local housing market.