Two 3 story homes with yellow van parked out front on the street.

Zoning Reform is Creating Opportunities for More Housing Types

A Key Area of Equity and Inclusion

Raleigh has completed many zoning reforms that directly address the issues raised by the community to improve racial equity. The reforms address both allowances to build denser housing types, as well as incentives to do so. The primary incentive offered in zoning ordinances is permission to build more densely, and in all cases, the “missing middle” housing types are allowed greater density than single-family.  

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) or Granny Flats are now permitted in all zones in associated with a one- or two-family dwelling on the same lot. An ADU Fast Track program is under development, and the City is exploring a partnership with Self Help Credit Union to provide financing to low-income/low-wealth borrowers wishing to add an ADU to their property. ADU finance is particularly difficult because the ADU cannot be used as security against the loan.  

Missing Middle housing was legalized in many more places with the adoption of TC-5-20. This change allows many more housing types in residential districts.   

 Tiny House is a building no greater than 600 square feet. Due to a text change the zoning code now allows tiny homes to be permitted them on smaller lots. A series of tiny homes can be built on a single lot to create a cottage court. This allows for greater density in Cottage Court developments.  

Two more zoning reforms that directly or indirectly affect the cost of housing are in progress.  

A further phase of Missing Middle housing is under review. The proposed text change (TC-20-21) will make it easier to add more homes more choices.  

Finally, parking minimums are set for elimination city-wide by TC-11-21. Parking requirements increase the cost of building affordable housing, and low-income households are less likely to own cars and more likely to use public transportation.   

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