Thursday, September 13, 2012
Margaret Brinig (Notre Dame) has posted Grandparents and Accessory Dwelling Units: Preserving Intimacy and Independence on SSRN. Here's the abstract:
around the United States (and, to varying degrees, in Canada, Britain,
and Australia), today confront a problem that people did not envision
twenty or even ten years ago, when municipalities heavily favored
single-family residences, and were permitted to exclude other forms
under what is known as Euclidean zoning. Currently, the issue of whether
to allow owners in single family-zoned neighborhoods to build living
spaces that might house elderly relatives or their caregivers is being
hotly contested in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, and made recent
news in Ft. Worth, Texas, and Arlington, Virginia. Legislative
responses have varied from wholesale acceptance, including subsidies,
loans, and waiving of permit fees; to outright prohibition.
While other ongoing work asks the question of why the issue has become contested, why we see the wide variety of responses (even in a single state), and what interest groups are behind proponents and opponents, this paper considers the family connection with alternative dwelling units (ADUs). Does living near to but not with their children solve a particular problem for many elderly citizens, or does living in this form of housing reduce their well-being? Even assuming grandparents are better off, what about their children and grandchildren?