Jacksonville City Councilman pushing bill that would allow homeowners to build tiny houses on their properties

‘Keep Our Families Together’ Act, which aims to help combat city’s housing crisis, beginning committee process

There’s a push to bring tiny houses to Jacksonville properties.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s a push to bring tiny houses to Jacksonville properties.

Jacksonville City Councilman Rory Diamond — along with councilmen Michael Boylan, Garrett Dennis, Reggie Gaffney and Randy White — introduced the “Keep Our Families Together” Act, which aims to help combat the city’s housing crisis.

Diamond said in a news release Monday that the legislation would allow homeowners to build accessory dwelling units — like guest houses — in their backyards either as rentals or to house family members.

“Accessory dwelling units are the strongest and most immediate way to address our affordable housing crisis and to keep our families together,” Diamond said.

Under the legislation, according to Diamond, up to 100,000 new housing units in Jacksonville could be constructed to relieve pressure related to inflation and Jacksonville’s housing crisis.

“Houses are becoming very expensive. Rent is going up. So we need more units, and one way we can do that is by having accessory dwelling units,” Diamond told News4JAX on Tuesday.

Sulzbacher Center CEO and President Cindy Funkhauser agrees.

“Accessory Dwelling Units are being used in many cities across the U.S. as one tool in addressing the housing crisis that we are facing as a country. I am so excited that Jacksonville in this among other new ideas to address our severe shortage of housing units,” Funkhauser said.

Diamond said that under the bill, homeowners would have to follow building codes like they would with any construction. News4JAX asked him whether anyone could take advantage of this.

“Unfortunately, there’s abuse of everything, and people are already building these things illegally, so this will bring them into the legal world,” Diamond said.

Antonio McLane told News4JAX that he’s lived in a tiny house for about a year and that they can work well for one person.

“But when you have company and stuff, it gets too crowded really quick,” McLane said.

News4JAX viewers are sounding off on Instagram.

“I absolutely would. It’s a great idea with aging parents,” said one commenter.

Another said, “Yes I do not see any problems with putting honey houses on your own property maybe to help your mother grandma have a nice place to live”

But some are cautious.

“Why? So people can buy property to put 6 tiny houses on and rent em at 1k a pop?” a different commenter wrote.

The act was introduced before the Jacksonville City Council on June 14, will begin the committee process this week and is set to be voted on next week. Diamond said he expects full support from the council.

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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.