As communities across Maine look to make progress on the issue of housing, Saco has published a guidebook to help residents better understand accessory dwelling units.

The 10-page packet gives background information on ADUs, lists benefits, provides a cost/benefit worksheet, offers design and construction best practices, and links to further educational resources.

“As our department receives questions about Accessory Dwelling Units, we tried to help answer these questions and provide a resource for residents who want to learn more about Accessory Dwelling Units,” said City Planner Emily Cole-Prescott. “Similar guides can be found in other communities, so we thought it would be great to have a resource specific to Saco.”

One prominent benefit of an ADU is that it provides an improved situation for multi-generational housing. ADUs allow young adults to stay close to family and save on rent while maintaining the freedom of separate living spaces. They also help older family members downsize, move closer to loved ones, access care easier, and spend more time with grandchildren.

“As we know, Maine has a shortage of housing,” said Jean Saunders, director of Age Friendly Saco, a local non-profit. “Building an ADU not only offers an opportunity for our older residents to downsize while remaining in the community they love but also provides an intergenerational housing opportunity. Age Friendly Saco is extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with the City’s Planning Department to create this ADU booklet.”