Onoja Itodo applied for our Fall Semester 2020 Future Contractor Scholarship and his essay was selected to be one of our voted upon finalists. Below is some student information about Onoja and his essay submission. You can vote for his essay submission by clicking here: https://www.ccisbonds.com/vote/.

Onoja is an incoming freshman at SUNY Maritime College, where he plans to study mechanical engineering. Onoja is looking forward to his studies because he wants to couple engineering with his creativity to solve world problems. In his free time, Onoja enjoys modeling, playing basketball and exercising. 

Onoja’s essay: With the growing need for housing, specifically affordable housing, how viable are the use of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to replace the building of full-size, single-family homes? What other options do you think the construction industry should consider when addressing the housing crisis?

As many may know, affordable housing is in short stock in the United States, and people are searching for more viable solutions. Something that has recently struck a huge discussion on the most viable solution to this is Accessory Dwelling Units (most popularly known as ADU’s). One reason this can be an effective solution to this crisis is they have potential to contribute massively to the affordable housing pool. Reason being is since it’s a smaller vessel than a full-size home the rent is going to decrease more significantly. This brings me to my next point, that it can be very relieving and helpful to property owners with ADU’s on their property to know that they do not have to invest as much into maintenance as they do on their normal house. Reason being is since an ADU usually is going to be used as a guest house or maybe storage they have a sense of security of not having to invest as much in order to maintain it. But these property owner’s pockets aren’t the only thing feeling more secure, because if they do end up taking in occupants, they are going to feel more safe living in close proximity to the owner in case anything goes bad. Imagine living somewhere that’s extra secured than your average (more expensive) home, while paying an affordable price. That sounds like most homeowners’ dreams, a vision that is more close to our reality than we make it seem to be. On top of that, the property owners of these ADU’s have a chance to earn extra income which makes it extremely beneficial to both parties while progressively eliminating a national crisis. In addition, besides the implementation of ADU’s, the construction industries have other options and approaches they can take to address the crisis. Because let’s be honest, not everyone is going to approve of someone they might not be that familiar with and trustworthy with to live on their property, it’s not selfish but it’s LIFE. However, one of the ways the construction industry can be accountable is by taking a look at the project costs and tries to make them more reasonable. The high costs of construction have an undeniable impact on housing affordability. The costs requested in order to complete a project ultimately correlate to the prices homeowners or renters or expected to pay. A plethora of factors played a role in some of the outrageous costs out there, but some of the most apparent are labor and building materials. We know we are always going to need labor, but construction industries should try to use more economic friendly or recyclable materials (like shipping container homes). Another measure they can take is improving the efficiency of technology used in this field. Everyone knows that the construction industry is more cavemen like, than most other industries. However, traditionalistic strategies are costing companies and the people more than they need to, rather than adapting to the current technological era.