The BPDA board yesterday approved a test to make it easier for homeowners to add a single apartment in three neighborhoods - in a program that will include zero-percent city loans of up to $30,000 for any required modifications.
Under the "Additional Dwelling Units" pilot, homeowners who live in their own homes in Jamaica Plain, Mattapan and East Boston will be able to outfit and rent a single "smaller, independent rental unit" that includes a bathroom and kitchen area.
Under the pilot program, an ADU shall be an allowed use where it may be otherwise conditional or forbidden provided that it is the addition of no more than one dwelling unit to the existing structure, and will be exempt from all provisions of the Boston Zoning Code, provided that the ADU does not involve any bump out, extension or construction to the existing envelope of the structure which results in the addition of Gross Floor Area.
The BPDA hopes to find out if such units could increase the affordable-housing stock in Boston by letting owners of larger homes rent some of their space.
In addition to the BPDA, the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab at the Department of Neighborhood Development and ISD are also involved in the program. If the city Zoning Commission approves the plan at a meeting next month, the city would launch the program within a few months.