Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place: Architecture Design Competition to encourage ADU Adoption

Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place has launched an architectural design competition for freestanding, practical, and reusable Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The competition will address the housing income challenge for seniors who want to age in place, and propose solutions for increasing density in suburban communities that will have the least impact on streetscapes and infrastructure.

The design competition is funded by a 2023 Community Challenge Grant from AARP New Jersey, and a grant from Partners for Health Foundation. The AARP grant is part of their nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which supports the efforts of cities, towns, neighborhoods, and rural areas to become great places to live for people of all ages, especially those age 50 and older.

ADUs are secondary housing units on a single-family residential lot. They are an emerging housing option to allow older residents to age in their homes and communities. Designs for the competition will be solicited from students at architecture schools in the region and will adhere to universal design standards that adapt to structural needs for aging, mobility challenges, and other disabilities.

Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place (mGAP) is a social advocacy and service organization that seeks to better the lives of seniors by providing accessible housing opportunities in addition to peer-to-peer digital technology training programs. The organization is dedicated to identifying gaps between existing services and services that are needed to sustain older citizens who want age in place in the communities they love.

mGAP has advocated for local communities to adopt ADU ordinances. As of March 2023, Montclair homeowners have the option of constructing ADUs on their single-family plots to provide new housing options suitable for aging-in-place, as well as housing people with disabilities, and accommodating small family units of one or two adults. They hope to see such ordinances replicated throughout New Jersey.

“The goal of the competition is to demonstrate to residents and town planners that ADU construction is a path to better housing options for older residents as well as other citizens,” said Ann Lippel, President of Montclair Gateway to Aging in Place. “An increased inventory of statewide accessible Accessory Dwelling Units must be part of the public policy strategy to provide more suitable housing options for all.”

To learn more ADUs, visit: ADUs… What’s in it for You?

Click here for more information about the architectural design competition.