Could ‘granny flats’ be the solution to America’s affordable-housing crisis?

In-law suites, granny flats, accessory dwelling units — whatever you call them, developers and housing economists say these units could be a cure to the inventory shortage in real-estate markets nationwide. That is, if homeowners actually show interest.

Accessory dwelling units are secondary units built on or into single-family homes. Most often they are completely separate, cottage-like structures, though in other cases, they are spaces that were converted from garages or basements to serve as an individual living quarter. In recent years, advocates have pushed city and state governments to loosen zoning laws so that more of these units can be built.

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