Fort Worth’s Affordable Housing Strategy Hits a Wall Due to ADUs Protest

The city of Fort Worth recently hit a snag in its plans to address the affordable housing crisis. The council decided to delay the approval of a new affordable housing strategy after residents expressed concerns, particularly about the inclusion of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the plan.

Owning a single family home with sufficient elbow room so that you’re not cramped up against your neighbor remains the American dream,” said Dave Schwarte, co-founder of the Texas Neighborhood Coalition.

The city’s strategy, assembled by Interface Studio, proposed various solutions ranging from land banks to property tax assistance for low-income homeowners. However, the most contentious point was the recommendation to revise zoning codes to permit ADUs on single-family properties. Residents like Dave Schwarte argued that this would not significantly aid housing affordability and would instead lead to “upzoning,” or increased density. The council has postponed the vote until October 17 to gather more input.

ADUs are smaller residential units located on the same lot as a single-family home. They can be additions to a home, converted portions of an existing home, or stand-alone structures. Critics argue that they don’t meaningfully contribute to housing affordability. On the other hand, supporters like District 9 council member Elizabeth Beck believe ADUs are crucial for tackling the housing crisis.

In light of this, it’s worth noting that the pushback against ADUs isn’t just a local issue but reflects broader debates about housing policy. According to a recent study, ADUs have been met with similar resistance in other cities, yet they remain a viable solution for affordable housing.

The Fort Worth council’s decision to delay the affordable housing strategy vote highlights the complexities and controversies surrounding housing policies, particularly ADUs. For real estate investors, understanding these dynamics is crucial as they can significantly impact property values and rental markets. If you’re interested in diving deeper into this topic, check out our comprehensive guide on ADUs.