Tampa leaders look into allowing more Accessory Dwelling Units to combat affordable housing shortage

The City of Tampa is looking at allowing more Accessory Dwelling Units to help ease the shortage of affordable housing. The idea could be moving across the Tampa Bay area. 

These backyard dwellings are sometimes called mother-in-law suites, granny flats, garage apartments or tiny houses. The City of St. Petersburg approved allowing more Accessory Dwelling Units in July. 

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Tampa City Council member Lynn Hurtak believes allowing Accessory Dwelling Units could produce more affordable housing quickly. 

"There could be availability right away," said Hurtak, "But, we’re also going to encourage people to build them." 

She said new construction in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighborhoods often includes new garage apartments or mother-in-law suites in the plans. 

Tampa’s proposal, now in an informational stage, would allow Accessory Dwelling Units in most of the city, excluding South Tampa and New Tampa. Currently, permitted Accessory Dwelling Units for rent are only allowed in the Seminole Heights and Lowry Park neighborhoods, though some in older units in other parts of the city are grandfathered in. 

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There is also a process city-wide where Accessory Dwelling Units can be added, but for family members only and not for rent. Tampa City Council has scheduled a workshop on the issue for October 27. 

A virtual public information meeting on Accessory Dwelling Units will be held on Tuesday, October 18 at 6 p.m. City staff will present the proposed changes on Accessory Dwelling Unit code reform at the Thursday, October 27 City Council workshop. 

Registration is required. Please click here for more information.