Article originally published at WJCT News

This garage apartment in Neptune Beach is an example of a form of missing middle housing not allowed in many of Duval County’s residential neighborhoods.

Jacksonville may let people build small rental residences on their properties with the goal of solving two distressing problems: inflation and the housing shortage.

Legislation introduced by City Councilman Rory Diamond would allow the construction of what are called Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADU’s.

Diamond foresees 100,000 of these new rental properties if his measure — the Keep Our Families Together Act — is approved.

“If you built a little structure [at] your house and it included like a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen, that would be most of the time illegal,” Diamond said. “And what this would do is make it legal so that you could just go Downtown, file for a permit and be able to build an accessory dwelling unit that you could put your grandparents in, put your children in or just rent out to help you make your mortgage payment.”

Diamond first introduced his measure in June. It’s currently being heard in committees and will come before the full City Council on Tuesday.

“Accessory dwelling units are the strongest and most immediate way to address our affordable housing crisis and to keep our families together,” Diamond said in a news release.

Cindy Funkhauser, CEO and president of Suzbacher Center, an agency serving homeless people, agreed.

“Accessory Dwelling Units are being used in many cities across the U.S. as one tool in addressing the housing crisis that we are facing as a country,” she said in the release. “I am so excited that Jacksonville is considering this among other new ideas to address our severe shortage of housing units.”

Article by Jamie Jackson originally published at WJCT News. Jamie is an award-winning, Emmy nominated broadcast journalist who serves as a host and reporter for WJCT Public Media.

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