From lowering the minimum required residential lot size in large municipalities to allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) by right, Texas is considering a number of reforms that could help lower housing costs.

Texas lawmakers understand the importance of community and family. By allowing for ADUs (sometimes referred to as in-law suites or granny flats), it will be easier for Texas families to stay together in the neighborhoods that they grew up in. With ADUs, a grandmother who struggles to afford senior care or a child with special needs can live affordably and close to their family while maintaining their independence.

Following the debate over these reforms, it is clear that opponents push the false claim of a “war on the suburbs.” What they fail to realize (or purposely obscure) is that nothing in these bills requires smaller lots or the creation of ADUs. And these bills do not override local zoning requirements, meaning that new neighborhoods can still be zoned for single family homes and existing ones can keep that designation. There will be no new high-rise apartment buildings going up in the middle of suburban neighborhoods under these changes. Nor do they bypass local deed restrictions, homeowners associations, and historical designation. If the bills become law, where permitted, housing builders and homeowners will simply have the option to save money by paying for less yard space or expand their living area by adding a smaller additional unit in the yard.

Read More