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SPARCC in Action: Accessory Dwelling Units in West Denver

“Why do we have to rely on developers to fix our problems when this is our own neighborhood and we own the land?” asks Renee Martinez-Stone of the West Denver Resistance Collaboration, one of the members of SPARCC’s Denver collaborative table.

The West Denver Resistance Collaboration’s West Denver Single Family Plus (WDSF+) program is gaining national traction as a potential solution to income inequality and the affordable housing shortage. The WDSF+ supports and empowers homeowners to become landlords– by building accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property. In a recent article, U.S. News dives into the rapidly rising cost of living in Denver and why ADUs (or granny flats) might be the key to battling foreclosures.

Building affordable units one ADU at a time may seem like an incremental approach to the housing shortage. But Craig Adelman of the Low Income Investment Fund says it can be part of a network of strategies, including building more multifamily affordable housing. While relatively untried for this purpose, he said ADUs could be a highly efficient solution, in part because of the use of underutilized land. And the method could take off.

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