Accessory Dwellings Help with Salem Housing Needs

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Basement converted to accessory dwelling unit.

Basement converted to accessory dwelling unit.

​Did you know you may be able to help meet Salem's growing need for housing?

The greater Salem area is expected to grow by nearly 60,000 people in the next 15 years. The 2014 Salem Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) projects Salem needs another 2,897 multifamily housing units.

If you are a homeowner, you may be able to add an accessory dwelling unit to your property, help with the housing shortage, earn long-term rental income, and pay no System Development Fees in the process.

Until June 1, 2024, the City of Salem is offering an incentive to developers by waiving System Development Fees on accessory dwelling units.

Examples of accessory dwellings include a "mother-in-law" cottage, a basement apartment or an apartment over a garage. They are considered multi-family housing and must be built to serve long-term housing needs. Units for short-term lodging don't qualify.

Accessory dwellings are allowed in many residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use zones. They must be no larger than 900 square feet or 75% of the main house, whichever is smaller. Only one accessory dwelling is allowed per lot. Each dwelling must include both a bathroom and a kitchen, be attached or detached, and must not have a direct interior connection to the main house.

Learn more:

Create an Accessory Dwelling Unit on Your Property

Salem's Housing Needs Analysis

Contact us

Kathy UrsprungCommunications and Media Specialist
Monday–Friday
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty St SE, RM 220
Salem, OR 97301
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