ORLANDO – AARP announced the City of Orlando as one of five recipients in Florida to be awarded the $10,000 AARP Community Challenge Grant. The city will utilize this funding to provide education to multicultural communities about accessory dwelling units (ADU) and how they can help increase accessibility for city residents.
“The City of Orlando is committed to creating a community where every person has equal access to opportunities – including quality housing,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “This grant from our partners at AARP will help underserved communities learn more about housing options available and how they can help improve the quality of life for our seniors by allowing them to stay in place while maintaining a sense of independence.”
Commonly known as garage apartments, accessory apartments, secondary suites and granny flats, an accessory dwelling unit is a smaller apartment that is located on the same lot as a single-family home. In 2018, the city amended its Land Development Code to make it easier to build on smaller lots by allowing more site planning flexibility for townhomes, duplexes, tandems, single-family homes, multiplexes and accessory dwelling units. Since the adoption of the new development guidelines, 335 new accessory dwelling units have been constructed, totaling 656 units to date, which is more than double the amount from the previous decade prior to the implementation of the new rules.
Through the AARP Community Challenge Grant, the City of Orlando will create an ADU education and outreach campaign in a variety of multilingual and multicultural neighborhoods. Furthermore, these outreach efforts will create a more user-friendly experience for residents wishing to build an ADU for intergenerational family members. As part of the grant process, feedback will be collected through community meetings, educational sessions and consultations to help create a variety of educational materials, using both print and digital platforms in multiple languages.
This AARP partnership aligns with the city’s Livable Orlando Age-Friendly Action Plan and its commitment to ensure Orlando is a “community for a lifetime” by implementing age-friendly initiatives and advances the City of Orlando’s vision to ensure residents of all ages, abilities and backgrounds have equitable access to housing.