Community Development

housing What Are ADUs?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a fully self-contained home with its own kitchen, bathroom(s) and sleeping area on the same lot as the main house. ADUs are commonly known by many other names, including granny flats, in-law units, alley flats, coach houses, and casitas. They’re a great match for smaller households and can be created through basement or garage conversions, additions, or new construction of back yard ‘tiny homes.’ Cedar Rapids allows them in residential zones and requires that they fit in well with the surrounding neighborhood. 

ADUs 101 Informational Panel
Join us on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 from 4-5 PM in Beems Auditorium at the Downtown Library for ADUs 101, a panel discussion including Brad Anderson from AARP IA, Stephanie Murphy from Neighborhood Finance Corporation,  and City Zoning and Planning staff, to discuss ADUs and answer questions. 
Register here

ADUs House People of All Ages. Consider the following:

  • EMPTY NESTERS could build an ADU and consider renting out the ADU or choose to move into it.
  • PEOPLE looking for entry-level housing choices could rent an ADU in a neighborhood they might not otherwise be able to afford.
  • FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN could use an ADU as housing for a nanny, au pair, or grandparent. 
  • INDIVIDUALS IN NEED OF CARE could reside in an ADU to be near family members, or use the ADU to house a live-in aide. In fact, ADUs may be an affordable and more comforting alternative to an assisted-living facility or nursing home.
  • HOME BUYERS may be able to use the rental income from an ADU to help pay their mortgage or finance home improvements.
  • HOME-BASED WORKERS could use an ADU as their office or workshop.


ADUs in 30 seconds (video)

Ready to pursue an ADU?
Schedule a pre-application meeting with Development Services staff to discuss what you'll need to get started.



ADU graphic

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