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Accessory Dwelling Units

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a smaller, independent dwelling unit that is located on the same lot as an existing single-family home. Vermont’s law on equal treatment of housing and town bylaws requires municipalities to allow homeowners to add one ADU to their house as a permitted use as long as certain conditions are met.

NoteLegislation enacted in 2020 made substantial changes to Vermont's planning and development law, including changes affecting how municipalities regulate ADU's. A helpful checklist and updated ADU brochure for homeowners interested in developing an ADU are included in the resources below.

House with ADUResources for Homeowners

Related Links

Other Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) Resources

  • Brattleboro Area Affordable Housing (BAAH): BAAH provides technical assistance to homeowners in Brattleboro and Bellows Falls who want to add an apartment to their house. This organization has assisted in the creation of more than 50 new apartments.
  • HomeShare VermontThis link includes materials from a 2018 ADU workshop in Burlington co-sponsored by HomeShare Vermont, AARP-VT, and the Heineberg Community Senior Center.
  • Mad River Valley Housing Coalition (MRVHC): Serving the towns of Fayston, Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown, and Duxbury, MRVHC published a Guide to Creating & Renting Accessory Apartments in the Mad River Valley.
  • New Hampshire Housing: Publishes ADU guidebooks for homeowners and municipalities for residents of that state that includes many helpful ideas for design, construction, and budgeting as well as resources. Note that the statutes and regulations cited are not applicable in Vermont.
  • Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP): VHIP provides grants to support the development of and investment in Vermont rental units, including ADU's.
  • Vermont Natural Resource Council: This webpage includes a Community Planning Toolbox for persons interested in developing an ADU.
  • Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA): VSHA was awarded funds in 2019 to develop a two-year ADU Pilot (ADUP) program in Montpelier. "ADUP aims to assist with the building and initial leasing of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), including help with pre-construction design and securing of finances, permitting and compliance, contractor procurement and project management, and finally, tenant selection and lease up procedures."