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Accessory dwelling units — ADUs — an increasingly popular way to add housing on existing Bend lots

Bend Chamber, Hayden Homes hold resource fair to offer info, answer questions

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend Chamber and Simplicity by Hayden Homes held a special resource fair Tuesday evening to help more people follow the recently widened path toward adding needed housing on the property, through the addition of ADUs -- accessory dwelling units.

The resource fair at Open Space Studios provided various resources and experts to answer questions about ADU design, permitting, construction, finance, and more.

The Bend Chamber says ADUs are becoming a more popular option for building new housing 0n the High Desert.

Darci Palmer and Mary Hearn are having an ADU built on their property on Watson Avenue, and we met with them there Tuesday to talk about it.

Palmer said, "There's so much need in the community for places for people to live -- teachers, police officers, firefighters, grocery store managers -- everybody wants a place to live near work and friends and family."

According to the American Planning Association, an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone, or detached single-family home.

After House Bill 2001 was passed by Oregon lawmakers in 2019, the new law expanded the ability of property owners to build certain traditional housing types, like duplexes or above-garage housing, in residential zones.

Hearn described the details of her ADU she's currently building:

"For this particular ADU, this ADU is 660 square feet, and the construction costs are coming in around $170,000, so that's just the hard cost. It doesn't include landscaping and other interior finishes. It's probably going to be around $185,000."

The ADU on Mary and Darci's property will take about two more months to build, and they're planning for a long-term rental once it's completed.

There are restrictions on ADUs, such as only building up to 800 square feet and paying permitting fees, along with following development codes for them.

Even with the rules in place, Chloe Crabtree, special relations lead at the Bend Chamber, thinks it could be a great investment for a homeowner.

"Whether or not you want to build one so your aunts and uncles can live in it, a grandparent live in it, it helps you have extra housing on your footprint," she said. "But it could help to bring extra revenue if you want to one day say, rent it out to somebody, long-term or short-term, and bring in some extra income that way as well."

If you're interested in learning more about ADUs, the Bend Chamber has an online guide for you to check out.


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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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