What are ‘granny flats’ and are they Broward’s next bargain homes?

The answer to South Florida’s affordable-housing crisis could be right in your backyard or garage.

Florida approved legislation 15 years ago that encouraged cities to allow single-family homeowners to build a second dwelling on their properties that could be rented out to very low- to moderate-income wage earners.

Few communities — Key West was one — pursued the idea, but now Broward County is giving it a fresh look.

Recent studies have shown South Florida has the nation’s highest percentage of severely burdened renters, with more than a third paying more than half their income on housing.

Commissioner Nan Rich and other affordable-housing supporters say it’s time to encourage local communities to seriously consider changing their regulations.

“To solve the affordable-housing crisis, we’re going to have to use multiple options,” Rich said. “Just because it hasn’t been done here yet, it’s not a reason for us not to try.”

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