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What are ADUs?

As small houses or apartments that exist on the same property lot as a single-family residence, Additional Dwelling Units, — or ADUs — play a major role in serving a national housing need. This traditional home type is re-emerging as an affordable and flexible housing option that meets the needs of older adults and young families alike.

Top Benefits of ADUs

Age In Place

While transitioning into retirement, having an ADU allows family members to age in place and live together with the people they love most.

Nearby Care

As family members age, having trusted care nearby is essential. Whether it’s post-surgery care or help with everyday tasks, having family nearby is helpful.

Safety & Security

Older adults know the importance of feeling safe. Having an ADU with family nearby could afford that peace of mind.

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ADUs in Chicago

Watch how Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) expand housing for people of all ages in Chicago.

Types of ADUs

We know from surveys by AARP and others that a majority of Americans prefer to live in walkable neighborhoods that offer a mix of housing and transportation options and are close to jobs, schools, shopping, entertainment and parks.

Since ADUs make use of the existing infrastructure and housing stock, they also could be  environmentally friendly and respectful of a neighborhood’s pace and style. An increasing number of cities like Chicago have been adapting their zoning or housing laws to make it easier for homeowners to create ADUs.

Learn More

FREE Guide
The ABCs of ADUs

Through AARP’s FREE PDF guide, you can learn more about what Additional Dwelling Units are and how they expand housing for people of all ages.


Stylish & Improved
Designs & Styles

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Let's Work

Whether you’re interested in building your own ADU or you want to join AARP Illinois in bringing the ADU option to more communities across Illinois, we’d love to hear from you.
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