ADU Housing Is Good For The Climate

Thank you to the Eugene City Council for their long-overdue passage of the backyard cottage code, finally bringing Eugene into compliance with state statute. We have an affordable housing crisis, and this will certainly not solve it, but it’s a tiny positive step forward. In addition:

Accessory Dwelling Units are a tool in the fight against climate change: The compact size of ADUs makes them remarkably energy-efficient, cutting lifetime CO2 emissions by as much as 40 percent when compared with the US-average single-family homes. 

Small homes are greener. A 2010 Oregon DEQ report found that over its lifespan a U.S.-average (2,300 sf) new single-family home is responsible for nearly 60 percent more emissions than a home half its size.

ADUs provide more access to affordable housing. According to a Portland State University study, more than half of all ADUs in Portland rent for less than the average rent of the city’s one-bedroom apartments.

ADUs create affordable housing and help slow urban sprawl. ADUs allow us to modestly increase the housing stock without drastically altering the neighborhoods that surround them, offering affordable housing for lower-income renters and younger people dealing with a tough labor market, or allowing older people to age-in-place by downsizing to a separate, more accessible home on their property.

The bottom line is that ADUs are good for the community, for Eugene, for seniors and for the environment.

Jan Fillinger, AIA


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