Cottage Housing

Cottage housing in Kirkland, WA
Source: Brett VA

Cottage housing is a development method where a group of smaller detached or attached single family homes are built together on one lot, often with shared open space. Cottages provide a good alternative for households that may prefer a single family home to an apartment, but do not need a large unit. Thus, the inherent affordability of cottage housing units is in providing a bridge between single family and multifamily housing. To expand affordability with this type, it can be combined with other tools like density bonuses.

To further encourage housing types like cottage housing, some communities have developed libraries of pre-approved plans for people to purchase and build. Because the plans are standardized and pre-approved for permitting, building becomes much simpler and more affordable. This article from MRSC provides more detail on this subject, including a number of example programs from Portland, Santa Cruz, and more.

Where it works

Cottage housing is ideal for single family neighborhoods that can support higher densities. Design guidelines can be used to help mitigate potential tension with neighbors.

Performance measures

  • Number of units built

More Information

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