We know a few things about advocating for changes in the zoning code: the first is that the most effective strategy is to reach out as individuals to our elected representatives and ask them for the change we want to see. The second is to make these emails personal and unique. I've listed a few ideas below:

  • I, a member of the [fill in the blank], would encourage you to advocate for the legalization of Accessory Dwelling Units throughout Omaha in the zoning code by-right.
  • Accessory dwelling units are important for our city because they provide:
    • Housing options for senior citizens, who cannot care for a multi-level home or large home alone, but would like to age in place in their neighborhood
    • Housing options for disabled or injured residents, who need to be close to family
    • Options for young adults who cannot afford to live on their own, especially those attending a local college or university
    • Added income for landowners and homeowners
    • A tangible strategy to combat the affordable housing crisis we are experiencing in Omaha
  • This is important to me personally because:
    • I believe it is environmentally responsible to house more people with the land we have
    • I have an ADU that was grandfathered into the code, or live in a neighborhood with ADUs, and they add vibrancy to my life and neighborhood (adding a photo here is a wonderful way to get the attention of council members!)
    • ADUs can help more people live close to transit, which is an environmental and equity issue
    • Landowners should be able to build what suits their lifestyle, within reason, on their property
    • Different housing types make neighborhoods more interesting, unique, and attract new residents
    • I have seen the rise in housing prices in Omaha, and believe this is one of many solutions we should implement as a city to combat the affordable housing crisis
  • As my elected representative, please consider the following next steps:
    • Read the ABCs of ADUs to learn more about why these types of housing should be allowed by-right throughout Omaha, or reach out to our AARP Nebraska contact to learn more
    • Schedule a time with the Missing Middle Omaha Housing Campaign to discuss why this topic should be a priority
    • Meet with me to discuss why this is a topic I am passionate about

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