Granny pod is term that is used to describe a form of multigenerational housing. Granny pods are prefabricated housing units that are designed to be placed in the backyard of an existing house to assist with the monitoring and care of a senior or disabled person. They are a great option for someone that still wants to maintain some level of independence but wants to know that the support of a family member is nearby when needed.
Granny Flat is another term that is used interchangeably with Granny Pod and dates back to the 1970’s. The Granny Pod term is credited to a county official in describing a prefabricated cottage that is placed on the property of a family member, usually that of an adult child, for the care of the occupant. Granny Flats are more broadly defined as housing for one or two persons. They can either be detached or attached to the other dwelling on the property. In some cases Granny Flats are used for rental units. However, zoning laws or deed restrictions can ban this.
There are several other names that are popularly used to describe a prefabricated cottage. They include accessory apartment, accessory dwelling unit (ADU), in-law apartment, mother-in-law suite, carriage house, bonus unit, etc.
Some localities that allow Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) require that they be used for a family members care only. Other jurisdictions have allowed them to remain and be used to provide affordable housing in high cost-of-living areas or to decrease urban sprawl in high growth areas. ADU’s offer an excellent opportunity to provide housing to those that need it, whether for aging in place, being near a family member acting as a care giver, or helping with any other family housing opportunity.