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Community Development /  Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program


The Town of Amherst Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Pilot Program is a forgivable grant program where by homeowners earning under 100% Area Median Income can receive up to $125,000 in assistance and technical support for ADU permitting, design, project management and construction. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an ancillary, independent residential dwelling unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single family home. An ADU can be an independent detached unit or attached to/within the stand-alone single-family home, depending on zoning district regulations.

ADU Types:

examples of various adu types. types include detached adu, attached adu, attached (above ground) adu, interior (basement) adu, attached (converted garage) adu, and interior (upper floor) adu

Eligible projects include the creation of a new ADU or the renovation/rehabilitation of an existing ADU on the host property. Homeowners must maintain the property as their primary residence, ensure the completed ADU is occupied or rented, and keep the property in good condition for the full 10 year term of the forgivable grant award.

The Amherst Planning Department will provide a Public Information Session on the program’s eligibility, rules, and process, as well as zoning requirements and how to apply. Note that attendance is not mandatory to apply.

ADU Program Public Information Session:

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 – 6:30 PM
Amherst Town Hall - Council Chambers
5583 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221

Accessory Dwelling Unit Pilot Program - Outreach Presentation

Successful applicants will be assisted by the Town of Amherst through various stages of project development, including: architectural design by local pre-qualified architects; zoning and permitting assistance with Amherst Planning Department staff; and construction bidding and management oversight provided by Program partner Belmont Housing Resources for WNY.

The program is generously funded by a $2 Million grant provided by NYS Homes and Community Renewal and will only be able to assist a total of 16 homeowners (additional awards may be made depending upon the resources needed per project). Based on success of the Program, the Town may seek additional funding from NYS, if possible, in the future.


Before applying, interested homeowners should confirm they meet the following Basic Threshold Criteria below to be considered eligible for the program:

  • Owner-occupied property containing a single-family home (primary residence) OR already containing an existing Accessory Dwelling Unit (for those seeking rehabilitation assistance).
  • Property must be located within the Town of Amherst.
  • Owner resides in the primary residence for at least 60% of the year.
  • Household income of the primary residence household is under 100% Area Median Income limits, based on household size:

Household Size

1 Person

2 Persons

3 Persons

4 Persons

5 Persons

6 Persons

7 Persons

Annual Household Income









  • ADU is permitted in project property’s zoning district either “by-right” or through a potential Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Special Use Permit.
    *For assistance regarding the applicable zoning, contact Tom Voigt at the Amherst Planning Department (716) 631-7118 or
  • Owner must be willing to maintain ADU occupancy and follow good-faith solicitation practices for ADU when unit is vacant for the duration of the regulatory term (10 years), if awarded. Receipt of rental income from the ADU is not required.
  • Property must not host more than one ADU, upon completion of the project.
  • Property must be current on all real estate property and school taxes and up to date on all applicable debts (i.e mortgages, home equity line of credit, etc.).
  • Property cannot have a reverse mortgage.
  • Property does not have any open property maintenance code violations, unless applying to resolve violations applicable to an existing ADU.
  • Completed ADU cannot be a Short-Term Rental.

First-round funding applications are available for download via the link below:

Amherst ADU Program – Application Form

Completed applications may be returned as soon as they are complete, but no later than 4:00 PM on January 19th, 2024 to the Amherst Planning Department, located on the lower level of Amherst Town Hall, 5583 Main Street, Williamsville, NY 14221.

For additional questions, or to request a hard copy application packet please contact or stop into the Amherst Planning Department at or (716) 631-7051.

About Amherst

The Town of Amherst was established in 1818 and celebrated its 200th Anniversary in 2018. The town has a geographical area of 53.6 square miles and a population of greater than 122,000.

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  • General Information:
    (716) 631-7000
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Municipal Building (Town Hall)
  • 5583 Main Street
  • Williamsville, NY 14221