Mayor Announces Public Voting for Accessory Dwelling Unit Design Contest

Mayor Announces Public Voting for Accessory Dwelling Unit Design Contest

HOUSTON – The Planning and Development Department’s recent ADU|HOU Design Competition received enthusiastic response from architects and design professionals, and has garnered about 30 submissions of Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) schematic designs and concepts.

ADUs can include garage apartments, “granny flats” or “mother-in-law cottages” and are typically built above the garage or detached and free-standing units.  They offer a range of benefits to existing homeowners including the opportunity to age in place, provide housing for caregivers, or provide supplemental income.  ADUs are another housing option for young couples, recent graduates, empty nesters, and others.

Now that the submissions have been accepted and reviewed, the Planning and Development Department is asking for your help to select the top design. Visit to view the designs and place your vote by midnight, Sunday, Oct. 17.

«This contest has inspired creative minds to channel their talents into designs that will help homeowners save time and money when building an ADU,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Our hope is that these designs will spark interest in exploring housing options that enrich the character of existing neighborhoods.”

Funded by an AARP Community Challenge grant, the winning design plans will undergo preliminary permitting review. The plans will be available to homeowners wishing to construct an ADU on single-family residential lots, where development regulations and deed restrictions allow.

This design competition, coupled with the Planning Department’s Accessory Dwelling Unit research and public engagement efforts,  are related to ongoing discussions of the  Livable Places Action Committee (LPAC). The LPAC is creating opportunities within our development standards that encourage housing variety and affordability.

To follow the monthly meeting discussions, participate during the public comment portion or provide feedback, visit