Published on Jan. 7, 2020 by Steven Vance
Updated on Mar. 16, 2020
I agree with Alder Ramirez-Rosa that “ADU” is not the best term for the kind of “additional” or “accessory” housing that Chicago has banned since 1957 . I prefer “casita”, or “little house” in Spanish. But the headline rhymes!
I want to formally register my dislike for the term ADU. It's a coach house. It's a garden apartment. Build them. Legalize them. Preserve and build upon the gentle density that brings character and greatness to our Chicago neighborhoods. But can we please not call them ADUs?
My 2020 goal is to keep ADUs in the news every week until an ordinance to re-legalize them is passed by Chicago City Council. Then, after passage, ADUS will still need to be discussed in the news media, because adoption and construction is going to take awhile.
Where are we at on January 7, 2020? 48th Ward Alder Harry Osterman, Chair of the Housing Committee said in December that he’d like to see a draft (from the mayor’s office) of an ADU ordinance this month to pass in the spring.
Help me keep this in the news and share these articles with your real estate colleagues, your neighborhood organization, and your mom and dad.
December 2019 articles
January 2020 articles
February 2020 articles
 One reason why “ADU” is good, at least for urban planners, is that it’s the only term that means “all of the kinds of small and accessory homes” in the country. There are different words based on country and regions. Some of the words are synonymous with “ADU” (meaning any kind of accessory home) and some of the words represent specific kinds of ADUs (a coach house implies there’s a garage, while rear house doesn’t).
Thank you Anjulie R. for your help getting and keeping ADUs in the news.
Let’s keep ADUs in the 2020 news [you're reading this one]