The Man-Made Affordable-Housing ‘Crisis’

Houses in a suburb of Denver, Colo. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)
Rules that prohibit cheap housing lead to … a lack of cheap housing.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n Los Angeles, they are “back houses.” In Connecticut, they are “garage apartments.” In Philadelphia, the grander ones are “carriage houses.”

In Dallas, they are “granny flats,” and they are, for the first time in a generation, legal.

In Mandarin English, these domiciles are “accessory dwelling units,” smaller secondary residences built on the lots of other houses. They have different origins: In places where detached garages are common, many homeowners built small apartments above them, sometimes to house elderly relatives or other family members who could not quite manage on their own (an arrangement that became much more common during the Great


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