You Can Get Up To $125,000 From New York State If You Build A Mini Home In Your Backyard
New York City is giving millions to help homeowners build tiny homes in their yards called Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The city will pay homeowners up to $125,000 to build a backyard ADU, helping to reduce the nation’s housing shortage, according to Business Insider.
According to New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), which is in charge of allocating funds, $23.4 million has been spent on this purpose as of August 15.
This is part of a package enacted as part of the state’s 2022-2023 budget, the Plus ONE ADU program, which provides grants of up to $125,000 to homeowners across the state who build an additional housing unit on their property. In total, the state plans to issue grants totaling $85 million through 2028.
“This comes at a time when we need to explore every opportunity to build every affordable housing unit,” said Jolie Milstein, president of the New York State Affordable Housing Association.
The program is one way lawmakers are trying to alleviate the growing housing shortage, which nationwide is making buying and renting a home extremely expensive for most Americans.
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Through this program and other proposals, Governor Kathy Hokul plans to address “New York City’s housing crisis by increasing the supply of housing, so she has launched initiatives to expand housing options, including through the construction of additional housing,” an HCR spokesperson said.
The first round of funding has awarded nine grants ranging from $500,000 to $2.6 million to local governments in Ulster County and the City of Amherst, as well as non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity of New York City and Westchester, according to an HCR spokesperson. .
The problem of the housing crisis
With these grants, dozens of homeowners – from Buffalo neighborhoods to New York City – will receive money to convert a garage into an apartment or build a tiny home in their backyard, HCR said. To apply, owners must meet the Area Median Income (AMI), which varies by state.
Many cities, both in New York and beyond, have relaxed zoning to allow homeowners to build additional living spaces on their property. In California, where the housing crisis is particularly acute, the state legislature has even repealed local zoning ordinances, allowing all homeowners to build additional living quarters on their property. A similar bill in New York did not pass the legislature.
However, Milstein considers the grants program in an “innovative” way. This gives a head start to those who build where it is legal to do so and “shows that this is a successful way to give people the freedom and flexibility to deal with a crisis in their own home.”
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