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Accessory dwellings could help more seniors age in place

A constructed accessory dwelling unit was lowered by crane into a backyard in Concord.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

I appreciated reading the Spotlight report “An American ideal, reimagined” (Nov. 26, Page A1), which highlighted the development of accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, to alleviate the housing crisis, and I applaud Governor Maura Healey for promoting statewide legalization with uniform standards.

My particular interest has to do with the current dilemma of older adults, many of whom struggle to stay in their home communities in the face of steep property taxes and other ever-rising costs. We have a dearth of senior-friendly small homes to which an older person could downsize, thus freeing up more housing for young families.


I would love to see an ADU replace a garage and be rented out reasonably to bring in needed income for a senior homeowner, who could later move into the ADU and rent or sell the larger home. This would allow for aging in place, the gold standard for remaining connected and active in one’s home community.

Betsy Pollock


Brookline Senior Center Foundation